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oxford: printed by d. a.talboys. 
















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GIF f Of- 



OCT £ IS40 













AUTUMN, I Women Mutes. 


Manufacturers of Scythes, Javelins, Cuirasses, Trumpets, Casques, 



Several Mutes. 

The scene is laid in a public place at Athens. 






This composition is of the same kind as the Acharnians, and nearly 
upon the same subject ; but it is even fuller of enigmas, metaphors, 
and figures of all kinds. With respect to its date, it is not doubtful, 
since the poet has himself fixed it to the thirteenth year of the Pelo- 
ponnesian war, at which time the Athenians, after some considerable 
misfortunes, became, in spite of their pride, extremely fatigued with it 
Mr. Samuel Petit is not worthy of attention when he advances, with- 
out proof, that the mode of reckoning the years of the Peloponnesian 
war is difierent in Aristophanes and Thucydides. All the actions of 
which the poet treats agree with those of history during the same 
epoch. One verse, in which an Ionian spectator is designated, shows 
that there were strangers at this exhibition, and consequently that it 
was represented during the Dionysiac feasts held in the city. The 
design of Aristophanes is to disgust the Athenians more and more 
with a ruinous warfare, and to inspire them with a love of peace, as 
desirable for the conquerors as for the conquered, after many years 
of a war equally fatal to both, and capable of destroying all Greece. 
It is necessary to xecal to the recollection of the reader a point of 
history essential to the composition of this comedy ; I allude to the 
death of Cleon and Brasidas. The former was general of the 

* See V. 46. 

B 2 


Athenians, and the latter of the Lacedaemonians. Both had their 
reasons for prolonging the war — Brasidas, an amhitious, brave, enter- 
prising, and fortunate man, found his account in rendering himself of 
importance ; glory and the fortune of his arms nourished his am- 
bition, and made him find reasons for preserving an authority more 
agreeable to himself than useful to his country. Cleon, on his side, 
less a general than a man of intrigue, could not lay down arms with- 
out exposing himself, nor consent to peace without being undone. 
The Athenians would then have had leisure to open their eyes to his 
t3nrannical proceedings, and they would not have spared him« Both 
were victims of their passion for war — they were killed in Thrace on 
the day of the battle of Amphipolis ; Cleon made a mistaken retreat, 
and Brasidas profited by this imprudence. But both sunk under 
it 4 the former after his defeat, and the latter in the bosom of victory. 
These two chiefs died in the tenth year of the war, and it appears 
that after their death there was no longer any impediment to the 
peace, at least so says Aristophanes in this comedy, and Thucydides 
in his fifth book. In fact, Sparta and Athens each made their par- 
ticular treaty, which was the &mous truce of fifty years. But the 
Pelpponnesian war was not then finished ; it was too generally 
kindled, and its end was not yet come. 

" The Peace begins in an extremely sprightly and lively manner. 
The jpeace-loving Tryg»us riding to heaven on the back of a dung- 
beetle, in .the manner of Bellerophon : War, a wild giant, who with 
his comrade. Riot, is the sole inhabitant of Olympus, in place of all 
the other gods, and is .pounding the cities in a huge mortar, in which 
operation he uses the most famous generals as his pestles : the god- 
dess of Peace, buried in a deep well, whence she is hauled up with 
ropes by the united exertions of all the Greek nations — these in- 
ventions are alike ingenious, fantastic, and calculated to produce 
the most pleasant effect. But jdterwards the poetry does not 
maintain an equal elevation ; nothing more remains but to sacri- 
fice and make feasts to the restored goddess of Peace, while the 
pressing visits of such persons as found their advantage in the war, 
form a pleasing entertainment, though not a satisfactory conclusion 
after a beginning of so much promise. We have here one example 
among several others, which shows that the old comedians not only 
altered the scenes in the intervals, while the stage was empty, but 
even when an actor was still in sight. The scene here changes from 
a spot in Attica to Olympus, whilst Trygaeus on his beetle hangs 
^loft in air, and calls out to the machine-maker to take care that he 


does not break his neck. His subsequent descent into the orchestra, 
denotes his return to earth. The liberties taken by the tragedians, 
according as their subject might require it, in respect of the unities 
of place and time, on which the moderns lay so foolish a stress, 
might be overlooked; the boldness with which the old comedian 
subjects these mere externalities to his humorous caprice, is so 
striking as to force itself on the most short-sighted — and yet in none 
of the treatises on the constitution of the Greek stage, has it been 
properly noticed." — Theatre of the Greeks, p. 357. 

We are further informed, by the anonymous author of the Greek 
preface to this comedy, that our poet gained the prize, when Alcseu» 
was archon, at the Dionysia. 

i ■ 



2 Slaves and a Beetle of immense magnitude. 

S. 1. Bear to the beetle^ quickly bear some paste. 

S. 2. 'Tis here. 

S. 1. Then give it to the doomed wretch. 

S. 2. [to S. 1.] And never may'st thou eat a sweeter cake. 

S. 1. Give him another form'd from asses* dung. 

S. 2. Again *tis here. 

S. 1. Where's that thou now didst bring? 

Hath he not gulp'd it ? 
S. 2. Yea, he hath, by Jove ; 

And having roU'd the prey beneath his feet, 

He hath devoured it whole. 
S. 1. Then in all haste 

Pound many up and thick. 
S. 2. Ye scavengers, 

Assist me, by the gods^ unless you'd see 10 

Me choked. 
S. 1. Another and another give. 

Proceeding from a youth ^ that's been abus'd. 

For he declares he likes it pounded best. 
S. 2. 'Tis here — Of one thing, friends, at least, I think 

To be absolved ; for none can say I eat 

Whilst I am kneading. 
S. 1. Ho! another bring. 

And yet another, and still pound me more. 
S. 2. I will not, by Apollo ; for I can 

* natdbg i^raipriKoroc* i. e. Ganymede. 

8 THE PEACE. [Act i. Sc. ii. 

No longer bear this stink, therefore at once 

Will, with the beetle, carry it away. 20 

S. 1, Throw't to the dogs, by Jove — and then thyself. 

S. 2. If aught of you know, let him declare, 

Whence I may buy a nose that is not bor d. 

For a more wearying office cannot be, 

Than kneading meat to feed a beetle with : 

A sow or dog will eagerly snatch up 

Whatever any have discharged, but he 

Thinks highly of himself, nor deigns to eat. 

Unless I serve him like a dainty woman. 

With turnip that I've been the whole day mashing ; 30 

But I will look whether his meal is ended. 

Keeping the door ajar, lest he should see me — 

Stick to it, nor from eating ever cease, 

Until thou burst thyself unwittingly^ 

How the detested creature stooping eats 

In wrestlers' fashion, plying his jaw-teeth, 

Rolling meanwhile his head and hands like those 

Who the thick cables coil upon the decks ! 

A hateful, greedy, and ill-odour'd monster: — 

Nor know I to what god he may belong ; 40 

Not as I think to. Venus or the Graces. 

S. 1. Whose is he then? 

S. 2. Why surely he must be 

A prodigy sent down from thundering Jove. 

S. 1. Of the spectators, therefore, one may ask — 

Some youth self-seeming wise, " What thing is this? 

What means the beetle?" — An Ionian '^ then 

Sitting beside him, answers thus — " I think 

This bears to Cleon a dark reference, 

For without shame he feeds on excrement. 

-But I will in, and give the beetle drink. [Exil^ 

S. 2. And I to children will relate the matter, 51 

A That is, some Athenian, asCleon was. SoKsta (v. 47.) is the Ionic form of 
ioKut. And this passage leads Palmer to conjectare that the Peace was performed 
in the spring at the Dionysiac feasts which were held in the city. The resemblance 
between Cleon and the beetle consisted in the bad smell of the hides in which the 
fimner trafiicked, wheft' compared with that oC the beetle and its unclean food. 

20—70.] THE PEACE. 

To grown up youths, to men of riper age, 

And those who*re past the common term of life. 

My master rages after a new fashion, 

Not in your way, but one entirely new ; 

For thro* the day with eyes to heaven uprais'd, 

And gaping mouth, he thus reproaches Jove : 

" O Jupiter, what is't thy will to do? 

Lay by the broom, nor sweep out Greece ^*' 


[TaYGiEus enters unper€eived.\ 

Try. Alas ! 

S. 2. Be silent — for methinks I hear a voice. 60 

Try. O Jove, how wouldest thou our people treat ? 
Thou wilt exhaust the cities unawares. 

S. 1, This truly is the evil which I spoke of, 
For now ye hear a sample of his folly. 
What first he utter'd, when his rage began, 
I will inform you — To himself he &pake : 
"O could I straight to Jupiter's ascend!" 
Then having a slight scaling-ladder made. 
By that he eUmbed on all fours heavenwards, 
Until he chanc'd to fall headforemost down ; 70 

And after this, when yesterday he rush'd 
I know not whither, he brought home with him 
A huge iStnsean beetle, and compell'd me 
To tend it as a horse — then stroking it 
With his own hand, as it had been a foal, 
*' O my brave Pegasean bird*'," he says, 

^ I have adopted Fl. Christianus' emendation, ii-q *KKopei for the common reading 
firj Koptif as giving more force to the expostulation of Trygsus, which, however, 
is the lection of the Scholiast. 

c This line of the amusing and highly poetical narrative of Trygaeus' domestic, 
according to Florens Christianus, is imitated from one of the Bellerophon of 
Euripides (Frag. iii. ap. Beck."), ay* ib ^i\ov fioi UtiyatTov vrkpov, to which play 
Aristophanes makes very frequent reference (see v. 135.) The word dvipptxar 
(v. 70), properly signifies to creep like a spider (dpdxvri) along the walls* The 

10 THE PEACE. [Act. i. Sc. hi. 

'* Fly with me straight, and bear me up to Jove." 

But I'll stoop down and thro' the chinks observe 

What now he is about — unhappy me ! 

Come hither, hither neighbours, for my lord 80 

Riding mid-air is on his beetle borne. 
Try. {mounted on his beetle J] Gently, thou offspring of an ass^, 

At first less vehemently pass ; 

Nor let bedewing sweat consume 

The vigour of thy jointed plume, 

Nor with offensive breath, I pray. 

Annoy my senses on the way, 

Or here about our mansion stay. 
S. 2. How dotes thy mind, O lord and king ! 
Try. Hist, hist. 

S. 2. Where else on meteor wing ? 90 

Try. O'er Hellas' whole extent I fly. 

And a new machination try. 
S. 2. But to what purpose tends this flight ? 

This malady so vain and light ? 
Try. Well omen'd voices must we utter. 

Nor aught of evil import mutter ; 

But praise with shouts the sacred name, 

And silence to mankind proclaim ; 

Rebuild with new-made tiles each street. 

And close the lanes not over sweet. 100 

S. 2. It is not possible that I keep silence, 

Unless thou tell me whither thou design'st 

Thy flight. 

Mtn^an probably denotes nothing more than the very great beetle ; Schol. vvepfte' 
ykdri* compare Soph. (Ed, Col. v. 312. (ed. Brunck.) 

'AiTvaiag iiri 

TTUtXov Pef^taffav 

where the Schol. dvrl rov, fieyaXriQ* although Franklin translates that passage — 

On a Sicilian steed a woman comes, 

compare v. 126. vrrivbg iropevmi ir&Xog. 

^ This word alludes to the supposed generation of the beetle {KavOapog), men- 
tioned by the Scholiast, from the excrement of an ass, the food in which he most 
delights. See v. 4. where the first domestic enjoins the second to give the reptiU 
a cake formed of ass-dung, fial^av s^ dviSutv veirXatrfikvriv. 

80—120.] THE PEACE. H 

Try. Where else than heavenwards to Jove ? 

S.2. With what design? 

Try. To ask of him what 'tis 

He purposes to do with all the Greeks. 
S. 2. How if he will not answer? 
Try. Then I'll have 

A writ against him, for that he betrays 

Greece to the Medes. 
S. 2. Not while I live, by Bacchus. 

Try. There is no other way. [mounts on his beetle. 


[Enter the daughters o/*TRYGiEus.] 

S. 2. Alas ! alas ! 

O damsels, secretly your sire hath fled* 110 

To heaven, and left you desolate — but oh. 
Ill-fated girls! your father supplicate.' 

Chi. O sire ! O sire ! can this report be true. 

Which to our house hath come, that leaving me 
You take your airy journey with the birds 
To the crows' region ? is it truly so ? 
Tell, if you love me, father. 

Try. So it seems. 

My girls — in truth, I'm griev'd on your account, 

When, calling me papa, you ask for bread, 

And there is not within a drop of silver. 120 

But should I with good luck return again. 

Betimes I'll give you a big lump of cake. 

Besides a knuckle rap instead of meat. 

Chi. And what expedient hast thou for this trip ? 
No galley can be found to carry thee. 

dTTo^tTrwv airkpxiTai 

vfidg iprifiovQ, 

This is Fl. ChristiaDus' emendation for the common reading, i^/uac* the apparent 
solecism contained in the adjective iprffiovg as applied to the daughters, he parallels 
with Pindar's sprifiag aiOkpog (01. 1. lOr) 

12 THE PEACE. [Act i. Sc. hi. 

Try. a winged foal ; I shall not go by sea. 

Chi. But what a thought, my dear papa, is tliine. 

On harness'd beetle to the gods to drive ! 
Try. In i^sop's apologues he has been found ^ 

The only winged thing that to the gods 130 

E'er made his way. 
Chi. a tale incredible, 

O father, thou relat'st — that to the gods 

A beast so foully stinking e*er hath come. 
Try. From enmity to th* eagle once it came, 

With vengeful purpose to roll down her eggs. 
Chi. Thou should'st have mounted a wing'd Pegasus, 

That to the gods thou might's t appear more tragic. 
Try. But, silly child, I should have needed then 

A double quantity of food — and now 

With the same aliments that feed myself, 140 

Him will I nourish too. 
Chi. But should'st thou fall 

Into the briny deep ? what means has he, 

A winged animal, to draw thee thence ? 
Try. I have a rudder for the purpose fit. 

Which I will use — a beetle Naxos built* 

Shall be our vessel. 
Chi. And what harbour will 

Receive thee in thy flight ? 
Try. The beetle's port 

Is in Piraeus, 
Chi. See you tumble not 

' The fable of the eagle and the beetle, which is referred to again in the Wasps, 
(v. 1446.) by Philocleon, but which the old Bdelycleon's impatience will not allow 
his son to finish, is marked <rKy in the collection of Maximus Planudes (223, ed. 
F. de Turik, Lips. 1810.) It is not impossible that Aristophanes took his idea of 
the ascent of Trygaeus on his beetle from this very fable, particularly that part of it 
where it is said — 6 KavBapoQ Sk Koirpov a^alpav voi^ffag, xat dva^dg, 

S Na^iovpyr/c KavOapog, This was the name of a kind of vessel built in the 
isle of Naxos, and perhaps denominated from its peculiar shape, as the vessels of 
Cnidos ; Corcyra and Pares had their particular denominations. It appears also 
from V. 145. that one of the basons of the Piraeus at Athens was called Cantharus, 
from a certain hero of that name, the other two being called Aphrodisium and Zea. 
This harbour Cantharus contained a dock, a temple of Venus, and five porticoes 
disposed in a circular form. 

130-170.] THE PEACE. 

13 ^^ 

Thence downwards, and, when lame, become a theme'' 

Of tragic story to Euripides. 


Try. I will take heed of this-but fare ye well; 


And you for whom I undertake these toils, 


Abstain from all discharges for three days, 

Since should he smell aught in his airy flight. 

He'll cast me headlong, and deceive my hopes. 

But on, my Pegasus, proceed with joy. 

Exciting with the golden-bitted reins 

A sound agreeable to thy glad ears. 

What doest thou? what doest thou? wbt-re bend 

Thy nostrils ? to the filthy lanes ? transport 


Thyself from earth with confidence— and then. 

Unfurhng thy swift wing, with course direct. 


Pass onward to the haUs of Jupiter. 


Keeping thy nose remov'd from excrement, 


And all ephemeral food.— Thou fellow, ho ! 


Among the harlots of Pirieeus 


Easing thyself! thou'lt ruin me outright; 


Wilt thou not dig it under ground, and lay 

A heap of earth upon't, and plant thereon 

Wild thyme, and scatter essence o'er the top? 


For should I sufi!;r aught by falling hence. 

The city of the Cbians will be fin'd' 


In fifty talents, to avenge my death. 

Occasion'd by thy fundamental crime. 


Ah me, how much I tremble, and no more 


Speak jestingly — machinist, take heed'' 


" Tl,is is one of our poet's decieive allusions to Euripides, for having introduced 

no Ihfl stage so many lame heroEB ; whence be calls him x^Xoimfov in the 


(v. B64.1 Here he particularly glances at the Belkrophon of that tragic 


(seethe Acharaiaiis. v. 402.) 

' This line U a satirical reflection upon tiie loose manners of the people of Chios, 


kabit of calllDg in questloo the conduct of other slates, and inflicting fine 
" The ancients made use of a certain machine in their theatres for the p 




(Donnegan, ad vCFb. rpaSij.) The huge lioelle upon which TrygEus nioun 

s into 

the clond'i was a contiivaoee of this ki-iJ. the director of whirh he now addr 



14 THE PEACE. [Act i. Sc. hi. 

To me, for now some wind whirls round my navel. 

And if you are not careful, I shall furnish 

Provision to the beetle — but methinks 

I'm near the gods, and view th' abode of Jove. 180 

Who is the porter there ? will you not open ? 
Mer. Whence is it that a mortal odour strikes me ? 

O monarch Hercules, what plague is this ? 
Try. 'Tis a horse beetle*. 
Mer. O thou wretch impure, 

Without or fear or shame, all over foul, 

How cam'st thou hither, thou surpassing foul one? 

What is thy name ? wilt thou not speak ? 
Try. Most foul. 

Mer. What is thy race ? declare to me. 
Try. Most foul. 

Mer. Thy father too, who's he ? 
Try. Mine ? most foul. 

Mer. Nay, by the earth, from death thou'lt not escape 190 

Unless thou wilt confess to me thy name. 
Try. TrygsBUS, the Athmonian"*, a vine-dresser. 

Dexterous, no sycophant, nor fond of lawsuits. 
Mer. And wherefore com'st ? 

Try, To bring this flesh to thee. 

Mer. How didst thou come, O thou most miserable? 
Try. Thou see'st, O glutton, that I am no more 

The very foulest wretch I seemed to thee. 

Go now, and summon Jove to me. 
Mer. Ho, Ho, 

Thou art not likely to come near the gods, 

For they departed yesterday from home. 200 

Try. Whither on earth ? 
Mer. On earth ? 

Try. But whither then ? 

' hrwoKavOapoQ — an allusion to the word iwtroKsvTavpoc, and no doubt another 
iUng at Bellerophon, (see v. 146.) 

<» That is, of the burgh Athmonia, belonging to the tribe Cecropis or Attalis, for 
the Scholiast says it is not certain which. The account which he gives of his ex- 
ecrable parentage is, according to the same authority, parodied from the Sciron of 


Mer. Far off— beneath the furtliest cope of heav'n. 

Try. How comes it then thou'rt left here all alone ? 

Mer. I guard the furniture they've left behind, 
Pipkins and cans and little wooden tables. 

Try. But for what purpose are the gods abroad? 

Mer. For anger towards the Greeks : therefore to War 
They've given the place once occupied by them, 
Permitting him to use you as he hsts. 
But they have to the furthest heights remov'd, 310 
That they no longer may behold you fighting. 
Nor listen to your supplicating voice. 

Try. But wherefore deal they so with us ? pray tell me. 

Mer. Because you chose to fight, when they full aft 
Made overtures for peace — and e'er so little 
Should the Laconians triumph", they would say 
" Now, by the twin gods, Attica shall suffer." 
But should th' Athenians fight with good success, 
And the Laconians come to treat of peace. 
Straight would your cry he — "we have been deceiv'd. 
By Pallas and by Jove — we cannot trust them — 221 
They will come back again if we have Pylos." 

Try. Such is indeed the tenor of your speech. 

Mer. Wherefore I know not if in after time 
You'll e'er see Peace. 

Thy. Why, whither is she fled ? 

Mer. In a deep cavern War hath buried her. 

Try. In what? 

Mer. In this below ; besides you see 

What heaps of stones he has thrown down upon her, 
That you may never get her hack. 

Try. Tell me 

What next he purposes to do with us ? 230 

Mer, I know not, save that he last evening brought 

■■ la tbis and ihe two follawiDg Iides, the names Aocuviicai, ArriKioi, and Am- 
luvwoi, ara motnally applied by Ihe rival nations lo each other ia a contempluoua 
manner — vrevnopntTixuc, as the Scliuliait says. From line 215, and ihe Lacuniani 
come to treat of pence. Palmer concludes that llii; drama appeared after the embassy 
from the X.acedxinanians, respecting the lilicnilion of the captives from Sphacteria, 
bad been so iiaaghtily reJMled by the Alhenians, (see Thucyd, iv. 22.) 


16 THE PEACE. [Act i. Sc. iv. 

A mortar of surpassing magnitude. 
Try. And to what purpose will this mortar serve ? 
Mer. He meditates to pound the cities in it. 

But I will go — for, as I think, he is 

About to issue forth, since now within 

He thunders. 
Try, Wretched me ! let me escape, 

For I have beard his warlike mortar's sound. 

Enter War, bearing a huge mortar. 

War.O mortals, mortals, much-enduring mortals! 

How very soon will your jaws ache with pain ! 240 
Try, Apollo, king! the mortar — what a size! 

How terrible the very sight of War ! 

Is this he whom we fly ? the dire, the fierce, 

With legs outstretch'd**? 
War. Thrice wretched Prasiae ! 

Five times and ten, how will you this day perish ! 
Try. Mv friends, this matter 's no concern of ours. 

For *tis a plague on the Laconian land. 
War.O Megara, how wilt thou straight be bruis'd, 

And altogether pounded as a salad. 
Try. O wonderful ! what sharp and mighty tears 250 

Among the M egarensians hath he cast ! 
War.O Sicily, how hast thou perish'd too! 

She will be ruin'd like a wretched city. 

Let me pour in some Attic honey too. 

o The expression here is remarkably elliptical — 6 Kard rolv (tkeKoiv' supplendum 
videtur, icrrwf, fit^nKu^q., vet simile quid — Brunck, jtans divaricatis cruribus, 
Prasiae, whose fate is here so pathetically lamented by the daemon of war, was a 
town on the coast of Laconia which the Athenians captured and destroyed. Ut- 
tering this exclamation he throws leeks (rb wpdffov) into his tremendous mortar, 
in order to denote allegorically the pounding of that unhappy city : as he afterwards 
throws in garlic, calling it Megara, that temtory being very fruitful in the produc- 
tion of that herb, as appears also from the Acharnians (vv. 524. 1064.)* &nd 
moistens the mixture with Attic honey (v. 250.), which from Trygaus' answer 
appears to have been a very dear article — TroXvrifitjTov, as the Scholiast ex- 
presses it. 

240—270.] THE PEACE, 17 

Try. Hollo, I charge you, other honey use ; 

This costs four oboli — ^and spare the Attic. 
War. Boy, boy, thou Tumult, here ! 

Enter Tumult. 

TuM. Why call's t thou me ? 

War. Long shalt thou weep — standest thou unemployed? 

Here is a fist for thee. 
TuM. Oh wretched me, 

How sharp it is ! Oh master, have you put 260 

Garlick into your fist ? 
War. Wilt thou not run 

And bring a pestle ? 
TuM. But, good sir, weVe none. 

For only yesterday we came to lodge here. 
War.Ruu then, and fetch one quickly from th' Athenians. 
TuM. I will, by. Jove — if not, I shall lament it. 
Try. Come, O ye wretched men, what shall we do ? 

You see how great the danger we are in ; 

For should he come and bring the pestle with him, 

With that he'll vex the cities at bis ease. 

But may he perish, Bacchus, and not come. 270 

War [to TuM.] Ho you ! 
TuM. What is 't ? 

War. Have you not brought it ? 

TuM. No. 

For from th' Athenians is this pestle gone. 

The leather-seller who confounded Greece^ 
Try. In good time for the city's need he's gone, 

O sacred queen Minerva, ere for us 

The salad he had mingled. 
War. Wilt not then 

From Lacedsemon quickly fetch another? 
TuM. I am about it, master. 
War. Come quickly then. 

Try. \to the spectators.] O friends, what will our fate be ? 
Now the strife 

VOL. II. c 

18 THE PEACE. [Act h. Sc. i. 

Is great — should any of you be by chance 580 

In Samothracian rites initiated^ 

'Twould be a fitting subject for your prayer, 

That he who fetches it may break his legs. 

TuM. O wretched me, alas ! and yet alas ! 

War. What? bring you nothing still ? 

TuM. Nought — for their pestle p 

The men of Lacedaemon too have lost. 

War.How say'st, O wretch ? 

TuM. They've lent it out elsewhere 

Unto the Thracian folk, and so 'tis lost. 

Try. Well done, well done, twin sons of Jupiter ! 

Mayhap 'twill be all well — take heart my friends. 290 

War [to Tumult.] Bear hence away again these utensils^ 
And I will go within and make a pestle. 

[Exeunt War and Tumult. 

Try. Now may the song of Datis be repeated. 

Who in his height of noon-day dalliance cried : 

"How am I pleas'd, delighted, and rejoiced ! 

Now is the happy time for us, O Greeks, 

When freed from legal troubles and from war, 

Fair Peace, belov'd by all, we may drag forth. 

Ere yet another pestle hinder us. 

But, Oh ye merchants, smiths, and husbandmen, 300 

Artificers, and sojourners, and guests. 

And islanders, come here, ye people all. 

Quick, seize your reaping-hooks and bars and ropes ; 

For now we may snatch the good genius' cup**. 

P Aristophanes here allades to the death of Brasidas, the Spartan general, who 
together with Cleon, perished in the battle of Amphipolis, in the third year of the 
Ixzxiz. Olympiad, and tenth of the war ; by another pestle (v. 295.) he doubtless 
refers to Alcibiades, who entered Peloponnesus with an armed force in the thirteenth 
year of the war, in the beginning of spring. 

4 This line, according to the Scholiast, alludes to the custom of the Greeks, who 
in the beginning of their feasts ofiered a libation to Good Fortune, and at the con- 
clusion to Jove the Preserver. 



Cho. Let each good wisher of the puhlic weal 

With ready haste come hither — now, if ever, 

Greeks of all nations come and lend your aid, 

Freed from the ranks and from blood-spilUng woes ; 

For this day shines in hate of Lamachus'. 

Then engineer-Hke tell us what to do, 310 

For we cannot, methinks, this day refuse 

With bolts and engines to drag up to light 

The greatest of all deitiesj and her 

Who with excess of fondness guards our vines. 

Try. [to the Chorus.] Be silent, will you, lest your rapturous 
Within be heard, and re-illumine war. 

Cho. But we rejoice in having heard this edict — 

'Twas not to come provision 'd for three days*. 

Try. Beware of that infernal Cerberus'; 

Lest roaring in his fury, as when here, 320 

He hinder us from dragging out the goddess, 

Cho. Now is there no one who shall snatch her from me. 
If once she faU into my hands. 

Try. Oh! Oh! 

You will destroy me, friends, unless you cease 
This clamour — for he will rush out, and here 
Confound all with his feet. 

'' Lamachus, the Athenian geDeral. was extremely well skilled in the art of war, 
and in v, iTl, under the name of o x«^'^Si i' "iil W ^ 'lie hindrance lo hi» 
countrymen returning to a elate of peace; hence he is justly an object of aversion to 
the chorue of pacilic liusbaLdtnen. 

' It was customary in the time of war, when any sudden expedition was under- 
taken, to proclaim by edict how many days' provisions (usually three) the soldiers 
were to take with them ; see the Achumians, v. 197 : fi^ Virtiptiv alu i/ficpur 

' liXa^fJaef vvv Itilvov rbv taTB>9tv Kippipov. Tbat is. Clean, who was 
dead hefoi-e this comedy appeared (see v. 282, and note) ; so in the Lysistrata (r. 
1315). The ancients, as may be observed in a house excavated at Pompeii, wera 
accustomed to work the %urc of a dog in mosaic on the pavement of the vestibnie, 


80 THE PEACE- [Act ii. Sc- 1. 

Cho. Let him disturb, 

Mingle, and trample all — for not to-day 
Can we restrain our joy. 
Try. What ails you, friends ? 

What is the matter ? do not, by the gods, 
Ruin with rioting this glorious deed. 330 

Cho. I wish not to cut capers — but for joy 

My legs, without my stirring them, will dance. 
Try. No more at present; cease your dancing, cease. 
Cho. Behold, Tve ceas'd. 

Try. Thou say'st, but ceasest not 

Cho. Allow me but this caper and no more. 
Try. This and no other shall you dance beside. 
Cho. We would not dance, if we could help, at all. 
Try. But see, you've not ceas'd yet. 
Cho. By Jupiter, 

We'll throw this right leg upward, and have done. 
Try. This then I grant, but trouble me no more. 340 

Cho. Nay, but the left I cannot help but toss. 
For I exult and laugh in wanton joy 
To 'scape the spear, more than to doff old age. 
Try. Restrain your joy, ye don't know yet for sure: 
As soon as we have caught her, then rejoice 
And laugh and shout, for then you may 
Remain at home or sail away ; 
Or your alternate vigils keep, 
In meetings, dalliance, or in sleep ; 
Or feast like Sybarites, who troll 350 

The hquor from the wassail bowl. 
Shouting huzzah ! with all your soul. 
Cho. Would it might e'er be mine to see this day ! 
For many troubles I've endur'd, and beds 
Strew'd on the earth, which once were Phormio's lot ". 

* Alluding to the hard bed of this renowned general in battle, who twice con- 
quered the Lacedaemonians in naval fight ; see the Knights, v. 558. The original 
word, ftTi^adaQ, Florens Christianus parallels with v. 9. of the Rhesus, a play 
Which Beifk in his Diatribe Critica, lias, I think, sufficiently proved to be falsely 
ascribed to Euripides, 

330—870.] THE PEACE. 21 

Nor ever shall you find in me again 

A judge severe and harsh, in manners rude 

As heretofore, but mild and gentler far, 

You may behold me when from trouble freed. 

Long time enough, in sooth, have we been vexed 360 

And harassed — wandering, with spear and shield 

Equipp'd, now to, now fro, Lycseum — but come. 

Declare wherein we most may pleasure thee ; 

Since some kind fortune brings thee for our guide. 

Try. Let me look down, whither to draw the stones. 

Mer. O daring wretch, what thinkest thou to do ? 

Try. Nought wicked, but the same as Cillico*. 

Mer. Thou di'st, ill-fated one. 

Try. Ift be my lot ; 

For, Hermes, well I know thou'lt favour me^. 

Mer. ThouVt lost, entirely lost. 

Try. The day? 

Mer. . Forthwith. 370 

Try. But I've bought nothing yet, nor meal nor cheese, 
As I were going to die. 

Mer* Thou'rt pounded now. 


Fhormio was also celebrated as a good general by Strattis, Eupolis, and Cratinus. 
* According to the Scholiast it was he who betrayed the island of Miletus to the 
citizens of Priene, and when asked by some what he was about to do, his answer 
was, ** nothing ill," or all that is good, which afterwards passed into a proverb ; or, 
as Theophrastus says in the thirteenth book of his history, he betrayed to the 
Samians Theagenes, a citizen of the island. This circumstance is quoted by the 
Greek commentator, who relates the story very much at large, and as usual with 
numerous variations ; he also cites Leander, in the second book of his Milesian 
history. The Scholiast also refers to a line of Callimachus, thus correctly given by 
Bentley (Frag, ccxxvii.) — 

Ml) (Tvye, QnaykvTig, Koypatg xtpo KaXki^utvros, 

Alluding to the story of Theagenes having cut off one of the hands of Cillico or 
Calliphon, and asked whether with that he would betray the city, which he appears 
to have done by opening the gates to the enemy. 

1 That is, since thou art president of the lots, hence surnamed kfiiroXmog 
and KepS&oi, a jest upon Mercury, in allusion to the custom of the Athenians to 
pat to death by ballot one of their condemned criminals every day. This speech of 
Trygffius is rather obscure ; the French translator renders it, ** commie votts 
presidez au sort, j'ose esp^rer que vous me serez favorable." 

22 THE PEACE. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Try. Then how, when I receive so great delight, • 

Do I not feel it ? 
Mer. Know'st thou then that Jove 

Hath threatened death to him who shall be found 

Digging her up again ? 
Try. And must I then 

Perish of absolute necessity? 
Mer. Be sure thou must. 
Try. Now to procure a pig 

Lend me three drachmae — for before my death 

Tis right that I should be initiated. 380 

Mer. O thundering Jupiter! 
Try. Nay, by the gods. 

Denounce me not, I do entreat thee. Lord ! 
Mer. I cannot hold my peace. 
Try. Nay, by the flesh, 

I've brought and ofiered thee so readily. 
Mer. But I, O wretch, by Jove shall be destroyed. 

Unless I shout and do denounce thy crimes. 
Try. Denounce me not, I beg thee. Mercury. 
[to the Chorus.] Tell me what ails ye, friends ? why thus 
amazed ? 

Ye wretches, be not silent — else he will 

Denounce me. 
Cho. Do not. Oh lord Mercury ; 390 

Pray do not, do not, if thou hast been pleas'd* 

To eat the porket that I offer'd thee. 

Nor in the present matter hold it cheap. 
Try. Hear'st not how they cajole thee, royal sir ? 
Cho. Turn not away from us poor suppliants. 

So that we may not take her — but be kind, 

O thou of gods most liberal and humane. 

* In illustration of this line Bergler refers to Herodotus (Clio, i. 87.), where 
Croesus adjures Apollo to extricate him from the present evil, 

€t rt 01 Kixapi^iikvov 1^ avrov iS<aprj9ri* 

and the Scholiast to the prayer of Chryses to Apollo (U. A'. 39.), 

— ei iroTS roi xo-p^vr iiri vi^bv ipt^a. 

380—120.] THE PEACE. 23 

If thou dost hate Pisander'a crest and brows': 

So wiU we ever honour thee, O lord, 

With sacred offerings and earnest pray'r ; 400 

Come, I entreat, have pity on their cry, 

Since more than heretofore they honour thee. 
Mer. For they are now more thievish than of yore ^ 
Try. I'll tell thee too a dire and mighty deed, 

Which against all the gods is meditated. 
Mer. Come, tell it then — haply thou may'st prevail. 
Try. 'Tis that Selene and the crafty Sun' 

Have in a plot against you long engaged, 

Betraying Greece to the barbarians. 
Mer. But wherefore do they this ? 
Try. Because, by Jove, 410 

We sacrifice to you, whereas to them 

Barbarian nations immolate — and thus 

They would, perchance, that you might perish all, 

And they receive the offerings of the gods. 
Mer. For this long since have they cut short our days. 

Narrowing by stealth their chariots' circling course. 
Try. 'Tis true, by Jove — then, good friend Mercury, 

Assist us readily, and draw her up 

In concert with us— Then we'll celebrate 

The great Panathenaic festivals'*, 490 

' This, sajs ihe Scholiast, is spolien iroaically; for Fisander was rallied by 
many as a coward — he used the triple crest and ver; conspicuous arms, in order (o 
have the appearance of courage. 

'' Arisluphanes here draws a pis 
of his countrymen, who delighted i 
god of thieves with peculiar honour. 

" The sun and moon are the chief objects of barhanan 
count they spared Delos and Ephesua wben they devastated Greece. Acistophaues 
here insinualet that the barbarous nations flourished in praportioo as the intestine 
divisions of the Greeks increased. The crafty sun designates the eclipses, etc. 
which tooli place during Ihe Peloponneaian war — 

Defectus Solis varios Lunsque labores, 
which are particularly noticed by Thucydides, the former ia book i. c. S3 ; ii, 28 ; 
iv. S'i ; and a remarkable eclipse of the latter, which terrified Nicias so much, in 
the nineteenth year of the war, in book «ii. c. 50. on which latter passage see 
Dr. Smith's note. 

' Tiygsus heiG engages that the feasts of Ihe other gods, as the Panalh 

lalh flj 

24 THE PEACE. [Act ii* Sc. i. 

And all the other worship of the gods, 
The Dipolean and Adonic rites. 
To thy exclusive honour. Mercury ; 
And all the other cities freed from woe, 
Will offer sacrifice in every place 
To evil-warding Hermes — ^and besides, 
Thou shalt have many other blessings : first 
I give this cup to thee, that thou may'st have it 
For thy libations. 

Mer. O how full of pity 

Am I, entreated — by the golden goblets ! 430 

Henceforth it is your work, O friends — but come 
And with your hooks as quick as possible 
Draw out the stones. 

Cho. This will we do, but thou, 

O wisest of divinities, stand by. 
And tell us, like a skilful architect. 
What we must do ; for then thou shalt perceive 
That we have been no lazy labourers. 

Try. Come thou and quickly bear the cup, that we. 

When to the gods we have address'd our prayers, 
May with good auspices begin our work. 440 

Mer. Now the libation, the libation's made. 
Speak, speak propitious words. 

Try. In our libation 

We pray that to the Greeks this present day 
May prove the fountaip of fair happiness. 
And whoso readily shall seize the ropes. 
May this man never wear the shield. 

Cho. By Jove, 

Be it my lot in peace to spend my life. 
And with my mistress stir the amorous flame. 

Try. Let him who wishes still that war should be. 

Never again, O sovereign Bacchus, cease 450 

To draw the spear-heads from their crooked rests. 

Cho. And if, desirous to arrange the ranks, . 

festival of Minerva, the Diipolia in honour of Jupiter HoXcovxcc* or the guardian 
of cities, and the Adonia, sacred to Venus and Adonis, should be all transferred to 

430—460.] THE PEACE. 86 

A man should envy thy return to light, 
O venerable Peace, may he in war 
Endure the same woes as Cleonymus. 

Try. And if some manufacturer of pikes, 

Or a shield-hawker% that he may improve 
His trade, be eager for the fight, may he. 
By robbers seiz'd, on naught but barley feed. 

Cho. And whosoe'er, desirous to command, 4G0 

Will not assist us, or what slave prepares 
To join the adversaries* ranks, may he 
Be whirl'd upon the wheel and castigated. 
While ours be blessings ; lo, lo. Paean ! 

Try. Hence with your Paean, only lo shout ^ ! 

Cho. Well then, I shout but lo — 

Try. To the praise 

Of Mercury, Hours, Graces, Venus, Love. 

Cho. But not to Mars ? 

Try. No. 

Cho. Not to Eny alius' ? 

Try. No. 

Cho. Labour all, and drag it up with ropes. 

Mer. Huzzah ! 

Cho. Huzzah again. 

^ K ei rig dopv^ovg ^ KoiTrriXog daTridiav. The common reading is Sopv^bg^ the 
vocative of which, BopvK^, occurs in v. 1227 ; but this word, according to the au- 
thor of the Etymol. Mag., is not in use among the Greeks, except in the syncopated 
form of Bopv^oog ; the word KairijXog (Latin, cawpo), properly signifies a vintner, 
or one who deals in victuals, a low tavern-keeper — hence, a retailer of small wares 
in general, any one who sells by retail. (For a full explanation of this term see 
Bentley's Sermon (x.) on Popery, p. 338 — 340. ed. 6th.) 

' a^iki TO iraUiV a play upon Haiciv» which, from its' similarity in sound to 
Tcavbtv (from iraieiv, to strike), Trygaeus considers a word of evil omen. Elmsley 
(ad Ach. 1173.) proposes to read u) iratuv instead of vaidv, as the more comic 

s According to ancient mythology Enyalius was the son of Mars and Enyo or 
Bellona, or of Saturn and Rhea, although these deities are sometimes confounded ; 
Sophocles ( Ajaz, 179.) appears to make a distinction between them when he says, 

if xaXjeoOcapa^, ^ riv ^vv6Xtog fJLOfi(f>dv ix(»iv' 

on which passage the Scholiast says that Mars is distinguished from Enyalius, who 
was merely a coadjutor to the greater deity, although Brunck derides this notion 
and reads ijv nv for ^ nv and compares Eurip. (Hippol. v. 141.) 

26 THE PEACE. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

Mer. Huzzah ! huzzah ! 470 

Try. The men don't pull alike— will you not give 

A helping hand here ? How you pant and swell ! 

Boeotians, ye shall rue it. 
Mer. Hurrah ! 

Try. Hurrah ! 

Cho. [to Try. and MerJ] Pull ye Ukewise together. 
Try. Don't I pull, 

Suspended to the cord, and cast myself 

Into the work with all my might and main ? 
Mer. Then wherefore is it that the business speeds not ? 
Cho. O Lamachus, by sitting idly here 

Thou art injurious — of thy gorgon's head 

We have no need, O man. 
Mer. Nor have these Argives 480 

PuU'd of old time, but laugh'd at the distressed — 

And this when they on both sides had been paid. 
Try. But the Laconians, friend, drag manfully. 
M£R..Knowest thou how they pull? they only strive 

Who ply their trade with implements of wood. 

But the brass-forger will not suffer them^ 
Cho. Nor are the Megarensians unemploy'd. 

But drag, like whelps, with a most ravenous grin. 

Thro' famine perishing, by Jupiter. 
Try. Friends, we do nothing — but with one accord 490 

It is the part of all again to help. 
Mer. [(m if straining.'] Come on. 
Try. Again ! 

Mer. Come on. 

^ Since their profit was drawn from making fetters for the legs of the prisoners, 
they were desirous to continue the war. By 6 xaXKc^c* ^1* Christianus imagines 
Cleon to be meant ; but this cannot be right, as Cleon was dead before the pro- 
duction of this comedy : by the words hooi y avr&v are doubtless to be under- 
stood, with Dindorf, the makers of wooden instruments of labour, such as ploughs, 
spades, rakes, etc. (roi^Q KvXovpyobc), whose interest is concerned in the main- 
tenance of peace. The following lines, which the Scholiast ascribes to Trygasus, 
contain a sarcastic reflection upon the miserable state of famine to which the Me- 
gareans were reduced by the Athenians, who had fortified their harbour Nicaea, 
and, by the decree of Pericles, interdicted them from all traffic in their markets and 
ports (see Thucyd. i. 67.) 




Try. Once more, by Jove 

Cho. Indeed we move but little. 

Try. Is't not strange 

That some should strain, while others pull adverse ? 

O Argives, ye shall surely pay for this. 
Me:r, Come on now, once again. 
Try. CouragBj again ! 

Cho. Mow evil-minded some among us are ! 
Try, Ye then who long for peace, pull manfully. 
Cue. But there are some who will not let us move. 
Try. Be off, Megareans, will ye, to the dogs ? 500 

For you are hated by the mindftil goddess; 

Since ye with garlic first anointed her ; 

And you, Athenians, I command to cease. 

Adhering to the part whence now you draw, 

For you do nothing else but litigate ! 

But if you greatly wish to drag her out, 

Toward the sea for a short space retreat, 
Cho. Come, friends, we husbandmen will do't alone. 
Mer. Much better now, O men, your work proceeds. 
Cho. The work proceeds, he says — yet every one 510 

Pull stoutly too. 
Try. The husbandmen, and none 

Besides, can execute this dragging labour, 
Cho. Come now, come all; she's almost out at last; 

Let's not give in, but strive more manfully : 

That's it, 'tis done at last, hurrah, hurrah. 

Hurrah, hurrah; again, hurrah, hurrah. 

Enter Peace, Autumn, Spectacle, 
Try, O sacred giver of the vine, what word 
Shall I address to thee ? what salutation 
Commensurate with thy ten thousand casks, 
Can I approach thee with ? I've none at home. 
Opova, hail ! and thou, Theoria, hail ! 
How beautiful thy face, Theoria! 

88 THE PEACE. [Act in. Sc. i. 

How sweet thy respiration from the heart I 

As redolent of armistice and myrrh. 
Mer. Bears this a semblance to the warlike knapsack? 
Cho. I hate the enemy's most odious basket, 

For his mouth smells of a sharp onion belch ; 

But her's of autumn, revels Dionysian, 

Pipes, tragic poets, Sophoclean strains. 

Thrushes, and light odes of Euripides. 530 

Try. Truly thou shalt lament thine accusations 

Against her falsely brought — for she delights not 

In him who makes forensic dissertations. 
Cho. Ivy, wine-strainer, bleating sheep, the bosom 

Of women running to the field in haste, 

A drunken female slave, with jug reversed, 

And many other blessings. 
Mer. Come now, see 

How cities reconciled communion hold 

Together, and in willing concord laugh ; 

And this however desperately mauFd, 540 

And all of them with cupping-glasses fix'd K 
Try. Regard the faces of all present here. 

That you may know their several crafts. 
Mer. Ah wretched ! 

See you not yonder crest-artificer 

Tearing himself, while the spade-maker now 

Flouts that sword-worker there ? 
Try. ' And see you not 

How the scythe-maker with malicious joy 

Points at the armourer as infamous ? 
Mer. Come now, and bid the rustics all depart. 
Try. Hear, people ; let the husbandmen depart, 550 

Bearing their implements, with all despatch 

Into the field, without spear, sword, or lance. 

Since all things here are full of ancient peace. 

Each to his rustic work a p^an singing. 

* afra^diraffai xai KvdOovg irpooKinikvai, The cupping-glasses were used for 
the purpose of reducing the livid tumours under the eyes produced by the continued 

680—580.] THE PEACE. «9 

Cho. O day^ by just and labouring men desir'd ! 
With joy beholding thee I'd greet the vines 
And fig-trees that I planted in my youth : 
Our mind long since was eager to salute thee. 

Try. Now then, my friends, we first will supplicate 

The goddess who hath ta'en away from us 560 

Our crests and gorgons^ ; then with hasty step 
Remove we to our country homes, but first 
Let's buy ourselves some delicate salt*fish. 

Mer. Neptune, how beautiful their rank appears, 

How dense and well compact ! as 'twere a cake, 
Or ban(][uet fully spread. 

Try. By Jupiter, 

How brilliantly the mattock is prepar'd. 
And three-prong'd forks that glitter in the sun! 
How well the interval between the rows 
By them would have been till'd ; how I do long 570 
Myself to come into my field, at length 
To fork once more my little plot of ground ! 
But, friends, in memory of our ancient diet 
She once supplied us with, fig-cakes and figs. 
Myrtles, and sweet new wine, and violet-beds, 
Beside the well, and olives which we loved — 
Grateful for these things, now salute the goddess. 

Cho. Hail, hail, O thou most dear ! how joyfully 
We welcome thy return ! for we're o'ercome 
By our regret of thee, and fond desire 580 

That to the field thou bend thy steps again ; 
For thou hast been our greatest gain, and end 
Of all our wishes, whosoe'er have spent 
Our life in rustic labours — thou alone 
Hast aided us ; for often we've enjoyed 
Things sweet and dearly loved and free from cost. 

^ The whole apparatus of war may be here understood, although Aristophanes 
probably means nothing more than the terrific image on the shield, denoting 
perhaps at the same time Lamachus, whom in the Acharnians (v. 548.) he styles 
yopyoXi6^oy. In v. 557. the word yopybv occurs as an adjective, to express the 
alacrity and quickness with which the crowd of rustics move. Florens Christianus 
however thinks it probable that instead of xai yopybv we should read yiupytav. 

30 THE PEACE. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

Under thine auspices, for thou hast been 

The food and safeguard of us husbandmen : 

How will the vines, and tender figs, and plants 

Of whatsoever kind, with joyous laugh 590 

Receive thee !— but where has she this long time 

Been absent from us ? tell me this, of gods 

Thou most benevolent [to Mercury.] 

Mer. Most sapient rustics ' ! 

Give ear unto my words, if you would learn 
What way she perished — Phidias began 
With his untoward luck — then Pericles 
Afraid lest in his fortune he should share. 
Dreading your natures and determined habits. 
Ere meeting with some dire misfortune, set 
The city in a flame — having thrown in 600 

The tiny spark of the Megarean vote. 
He raised so great a war, that all the Greeks 
Wept from the smoke, both here and ev'rywhere. 
Straight, having heard, the vine gave forth a sound. 
And jar 'gainst jar in noisy rage was struck, 
While none appeas'd it, and she disappear'd. 

Try. This, by Apollo, I ne'er heard from any, 

Nor knew the attachment Phidias bore to her. 

Cho. Nor I, save now — her beauty doubtless rose 

From his alliance — many things escape us. 610 

Mer. Then, when the towns which you commanded, knew 
Your savage, snarling manners to each other, 
Against you they contriv'd all stratagems. 
Fearing the tributes ; and by gifts persuaded 
The greatest men of the Laconian state. 
Who, greedy of base gain, and apt to cheat 

* Mercury, at the request of the chorus of Athmonensian husbandmen, here 
begins his narration of the causes which led to the Peloponnesian war, which he 
traces to the banishment of Phidias to Elis, in consequence of the suspicion which 
he had incurred of stealing gold from the scales of the serpent when employed by 
Pericles to make the ivory image of Minerva. It was by undergoing this sentence 
of banishment that he is here said wpd^ai KaK&c and Pericles, dreading to be 
called to render an account of the expenses of his administration, diverted the 
minds of the people from that subject by implicating them in a contest with the 

590—650.] THE PEACE. 31 

Strangers beneath a hospitable guise, 

Have cast ber shamefully away, and seiz'd 

Occasion for the war ; and then their gains 

Were ruin to the agriculturists. 620 

For hence the gallies, in requital sent, 

Devour'd the figs of men not blameworthy. 

Thy. With justice too, since they my crow-black tree, 
Planted by me, and nurtur'd, have cut down. 

Cho. By Jove, O wretch, 'tis just ; since with a stone 

They have destroy'd my beehive-ahap'd corn-measure. 
Containing six medimns. 

Mer. And then when came 

The rustic crowd together from the fields, 
They saw themselves in the same manner sold ; 
But being without grapes, and loving figs, G30 

They look'd towards their orators — and they. 
Well knowing them poor, sick, and wanting bread, 
Expell'd this goddess with their doubtful cries, 
Though having oft appear'd out of the love 
She hore this country— While of their allies 
They shook off the substantial and the rich, 
Alleging — " this man favours Brasidas ;" 
And then you worried him like little dogs, 
For the state, pale and in continual fear, 
With eager joy devour'd the ahments 640 

Which any calumnies might cast to her ; 
And strangers, when they saw these wounds inflicted, 
Stopp'd up with gold their mouths who acted thus, 
So as to make them wealthy. Greece, meanwhile. 
Without your privity was desolated— 
And 'twas a tanner who efTected this — 

Try. Cease, cease, O sovereign Hermes, tell it not ; 
But suffer this man to remain below, 
Where now he is, since he's not ours, but thine'". 
For by whatever roguish name, 650 

When living, he was known to fame ; 

■ Addressed to MercuTy under Wis ctiaracler of vi 
afthediad; tor Cleon wax now departed (Bergler.) 

32 THE PEACE. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

A prating sycophant^ whose trade 
Confusion and disturbance made ; 
Henceforth these accusations all 
On your own denizens will fall. 
But tell me whence, O goddess, is this silence. 

[To Peace, a mute personage. 

Mer. She cannot speak, at least to the spectators. 
Since she against them entertains much anger 
For what she has endur'd. 

Try. Yet let her speak 

To you, if but a little. 

Mer. Tell me, dearest, 660 

What is your mind towards them — come, O thou 
Who of all women most detest'st the buckler — 
Be't so — I hear — complainest thou of this ? 
I comprehend — hear what she blames you for. 
She says, that after the affairs in Pylos, 
Although she came, and to the city brought 
A chest that teem'd with treaties, thrice was she 
By suffrage disannulled in the assembly. 

Try. Therein we err'd : but pity us, for then 
Our mind was all on shields ^ 

Mer. Come now, give ear 670 

To what she just demanded of me — who 
Is here most ill-dispos'd to her, and who 
Is friendly, and desires that wars should cease ? 

Try. Cleonymus was best disposed by far. 

Mer. And what appears Cleonymus in battle ? 

Try. Bravest of soul^ save that he was not sprung 

» That is, either engaged in contemplating the miseries of war, for which shields 
are put synecdochically ; or, as Bergler interprets the line, we were then obliged to 
obey the commands of Cleon, the dealer in hides, the common material of the an- 
cient shields. Cleon was succeeded by Cleonymus, whose nature, as well as name, 
was similar to his own : irovripbv TrpoardTrjVt a wicked gaoernor, as our poet calls 
him (v.* 667.) ; on which passage I wish to refer the reader to Fl. Christianus' ex- 
cellent annotation. Cleonymus was the last Athenian banished by the sentence of 
ostracism, which was thought to be dishonoured when put in force against so un- 
worthy a subject. 

<* This can only be applied ironically to Cleonymus, whom he himself calls rbv 
pi}l/a9viv (n. 352.) from having cast away his shield in battle, in allusion to which 
he is here called by Aristophanes ^irojSoXifuzTo^ ra>v ^Xow, 

660—700.] THE PEACE. 83 

From him whom he declares to be his sire. 

For should he ever to the fight come forth 

Immediately he cast away his arms. 
Mer. Hear yet again what she just ask'd of me. 680 

Who rules in the tribunal of the Pnyx ? 
Try. Hyperboliis possesses now this country. 

[to Peace.] What art thou doing ? whither movest thou 

Thy head about ? 
Mer. She shows her great aversion 

And indignation at the people's choice. 

For choosing such a wicked governor. 
Try. But we no longer will make use of him. 

'T was only that the mob, wanting a chief, 

And being naked, was desirous then 

To gird itself with him as president. 690 

Mer. She asks then how will this assist the state ? 
Try. We shall be more enlighten'd counsellors. 
Mer. How so ? 
Try. Because he manu&ctures lamps, 

And until now we grop'd our way in darkness ; 

But now we shall deliberate by lamp-light. 
Mer. Ah, ah, what questions she hath order'd me 

To ask of you ! 
Try. What were they ? 

Mer. Very many; 

And those old fables which she once left off. 

First she enquir'd of Sophocles' condition. 
Try. He prospers, but has suffer'd strangely. 
Mer. How? 700 

Try. From Sophocles is sprung Simonides^. 
Mer. Simonides ! how's that ? 

f Aristophanes here, by the mouth of Trygffius, reBects severely on the venality 
of these two celebrated iambic poets, who in that respect were of such kindred dis- 
positions, that one is said to have sprung from the other; hence Pindar calls 
Simonides, ^XoxepBil (Isthm. ii. 9.) Upon a straw raft he may sail, is part of a 
proverbial sentence in use among the Greeks — 

0€ov 9k\ovro£ kSlv hirl piTcbg ttXsoi* 

and our poet makes even this descriptive of the venal disposition of Simonides, by 
saying Kspdovg sKari instead of 9tw Gekovrog. 

VOL. II. I> 

34 THE PEACE. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

Try. Because he is 

Grown old and rotten — for the sake of gain 
Upon a straw raft he may sail. 

Mer. But what— 

Still lives the wise Cratinus ? 

Try. He expired 

When the Laconians their incursion made. 

Mer. What happened to him ? 

Try. Ask you what ? a faintness 

Of mind^ that could not bear to see his cask 
Teeming with wine all smashed — how many woes, 
Think'st thou, like these have happened to the state ? 
Wherefore, my mistress, we'll ne'er part with thee. 711 

Mer. Now go, and on these terms Opora take 

To wife ; and, dwelling with her in the fields, 
Get for thyself a crop of clustering grapes. 

Try. O dearest maid, come hither and embrace me ! 
Think'st thou, O master Mercury, that I, 
After so long an interval of rest, 
Shall harm myself by dallying with Opora ? 

Mer. Not if at least you drink mix'd pennyroyal. 

But having in all haste seiz'd this Theoria, ^20 

Bring to the council where of late she sat. 

Try. O thou assembly, in Theoria blest. 

How much juice wilt thou in three days absorb^ 
And how much well-bak'd tripe and flesh devour? 
But, O dear Mercury, farewell ! , 

IVTer. And thou, 

O man, go joyful, and remember me. 

Try. O beetle, homeward, homeward let us fly. 

Mer. He is not here, O friend. 

Try. Then whither gone ? 

Mer, Following Jove's car he bears the thunderbolts. 

Try. Then from what quarter will the wretch be fed ? 730 

Mer. He'll eat th' ambrosial food of Ganymede'. 

4 '6ffov potpijffHg i^<t}fibv Tjfiepatv Tpiwv ; alluding to the sacrifices which were 
offered during the three days' supplication decreed by the council. — Brunck, after 
the Scholiast. 

' (See V. 11.) For Ganymede was the only mortal in the assembly of the gods. 

710—750.] THE PEACE. 35 

Try. How then shall I come down ? 

Mer. Courage ! — quite well, 

Here by the goddess' self. 
Try. Hither, O daughters, 

Follow me in all haste, since very many 

Await your coming with erect desire. [Exit. 


Cho. Go then, and joy be with you — we, meanwhile. 
To our attendants give the charge to guard 
This furniture*, since many thieves are wont 
About the scenes to lurk, as criminals. 
But guard these manfully — while we declare 740 

To the spectators all our reasoning mind. 
Should any comic poet praise himself 
In his digressive anapaests, recited 
To the spectators, let the lictors strike him ; 
But if 'tis just to honour any one 
Who of all men is the best comic writer 
And most illustrious, I declare our master 
Worthy of great renown — for first of all 
He made his rivals in the drama cease 
From turning beggars' rags to ridicule, 750 

And waging war 'gainst vermin — he, too, first 
Drove off with shame those baking Hercules*, 

■ Alluding to the reaping-hooks, ropes, etc. mentioned before by Trygaeus, in 
V. 299, required to drag Peace from her place of concealment — it was necessary 
for the chorus to be free from all such incumbrances, that they might be the more 
expeditious in the dance. 

t Aristophanes here, according to the Scholiast, reflects severely either on Eu- 
ripides or Cratinus, for both these poets introduced into their plays a fasting Her- 
cules, Bacchus as a slave, and Jupiter as an adulterer; in ridicule of whom our 
poet represents the great Alcides roasting ilesh to the astonishment of Neptune, 
(Birds, 1688, see also 1605.) The epithet applied by the Scholiast to Hercules 
(yatTTpifiapyov^, is the same used by Pindar (01. i. 82.), when he deprecates the 
impiety of taxing any of the heavenly train with being gluttonous — 

kfiol S'diropa, yaffrpifiapyov 
fiaKoiputv Tiv eiireiv. 

Theocritus appears to have had this passage of Aristophanes in his mind when he 
says of Hercules (Id. kS\ 135.) — 

dilirvov ^i^ npka r b-Krh., 

.36 THE PEACE. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

Those vagrant, cheating, self-chastising beggars. 
And chas'd the slaves whom they brought on still 

That the deriding fellow-slave might ask, 
" O wretch ! what hast thou suffered in thy skin ? 
Has then a hog-whip struck with many a lash 
Thy sides, and scar'd, like a notch'd tree, thy back?" 
Soon as he had remov'd this crowd of ills, 
These vulgar and ignoble railleries, 760 

He rais'd our art to mighty consequence, 
Towering aloft in epic words and thoughts, 
And with no vulgar ridicule derided 
Not men nor women of the baser sort, 
But with Herculean rage attacked the greatest, 
Having pass'd thro' the direful stinking hides, 
And muddy-minded threats — ^before all else 
Against that saw-tooth'd monster I wage war. 
Forth from whose eyes flash'd Cynna's direst beams. 
While round a hundred groaning flatterers' heads 770 
Lick'd hers, she thunder'd with a torrent's voice, 
Engendering death — smelt like a seal, and had 
A lamia's hideous front, with camel's rear. 
I shudder'd not at sight of such a monster, 
But fighting for you and the other islands. 
Always oppos'd it — wherefore it is just 
That you should render me your grateful thanks ; 
For when affairs succeeded to my mind 
I rambled not of old time, tempting boys 
In the Palaestra ; but retreated straight, 780 

Taking away my chattels, vexing few. 
Delighting many, acting right in all. 
Hence men and boys must needs be on my side ; 
The bald too we exhort to aid our triumph — 
For every one will say, if I should conquer, 
At table to the guests — " bear to the bald, 
Give to lack-hair, some sweetmeats, and take nought 
Of honour from the noblest of our poets. 
The man with front sublime — Muse, drive away 
Contentious wars, and dance with me, thy friend, 790 

760—810.] THE. PEACE. 37 

Hymning the marriages of gods^ the feasts 
Of mortals, and the banquets of the blest ; 

-.For from the first these themes have been thy care. 

Should Carcinus come with a supplication, 
That to the dance thou wilt admit his sons, 
Hear not the prayer, nor come to his assistance ; 
But think them all to be domestic quails. 
Long-necked dancers, dwarfs, sweepings of dung, 
Inventors of machines — for that his father 
Declar'd a weazel had devour'd at eve 800 

The drama which had past his hopes succeeded ^ 
These fair-hair'd Graces' public melodies 
By the wise poet should be sung, what time 
The swallow sits and chants with voice of spring* ; 
^While Morsimus no chorus can obtain. 
Nor yet Melanthius, whose most bitter voice 
I once heard speaking, when himself and brother 
Enjoy'd the honour of their tragic choir ; 
Both fish-devouring gorgons, casting looks 
Of eager love on maids, but driving off 810 

Old women from the mart — detestable. 
With their goat-smelling armpits, plagues of fishes ; 
'Gainst these directing great and wide sputations, 
O goddess Muse, sport with me at the feast. 

*> The name of this comedy of Carcinus, according to the Scholiast, was the 
Mice, which was driven off the stage with contumely. Carcinus had three sons, 
Xenocles, Xerotimus, and Xenarchus, tragic dancers, who, on account of their 
diminutive stature, were surnamed qiiails, — Morsimus and Melanthius, mentioned 
in V. 792, 3., were frigid tragic poets of loose character, whom Aristophanes derides 
in various parts of his plays (see the Knights, 399; Frogs, 151 ; Birds, 151.); 
from the last of which Melanthius seems to have been likewise afflicted with the 

^ This passage, according to the Scholiast, is taken from one of the gravest 
CamxTUB of Stesichorus (named the Oresteas, Frag. zii. Mus. Crit. vol. ii. p. 266.) ; 
perhaps the lines of this beautiful fragment should be arranged thus — 

TOM^i Xpi) Xapir<av dandiifiara 
KoXXiKOfiav iffiveiv ^pvyiov fikXo^ 

l^evpovff aPpCig 

iipoQ iirepxofuvov. 

88 THE PEACE. [Act iv. Sc. i. 


Enter Tryg^eus, Valet, Opora, Theoria. 

Try. How hard has been this journey to the gods ! 

IVe altogether wearied out my legs. ^ 

As from above I look*d, you were but small 

[to the spectators. 

To look upon ; surveying you from heaven, 

You seem*d extremely wicked — but from here 

Far more malicious still. 
Val. Art come, my master ? 820 

Try. So I have heard from some one. 
Val. What has been 

Your fortune ? 
Try. Aching legs, from having passed 

Over so long a space. 
Val. Come, tell me. 

Try. What ? 

Val. Sawest thou any wandering through the air> 

Beside thyself? 
Try. Not any, save the spirits 

Of Dithyrambic poets, two or three. 
Val. What were they doing ? 
Try. Gathering in their flight 

Preludes of songs, certain air-swimmers' trifles y. 
Val. And have you found that rumour to be true. 

That each one after death becomes a star ? 830 

Try. Most certainly. 

Val. And what star now is there ? 

Try. Ion of Chios, who of old compos'd' 

T This line, as the Scholiast informs us^is a kind of satirical proverb passed upon 
the dithyrambic poets, whose compositions savour of airy nothings. This he ex- 
presses by a compound word framed with the accustomed cvrious felicity of our 
author, rdc MiaipiavipivrixsTOVQ. 

> The Scholiast informs us that he was a dithyrambic, tragic, and lyric poet, 
who appears to have been possessed of an universal poetical genius, as he also 
wrote comedies, epigrams, psans, hymns, and elegies ; he was the son of Xuthus,. 
whose tragedies were represented in the 82nd Oljrmpiad, and among his other com- 

820—860.] THE PEACE. 39 

That eastern ode ; and when he came up hither. 
All calFd him straight the oriental star. 

Val. And what are those erratic stars, which flame 
As they pursue their course ? 

Try* Some of the wealthy, 

Who come back after supper, with their lamps. 
And fire within the lamps. — ^But take and bring her 
With all despatch, wash out the bathing-vessel. 
Heat water, strew for us the genial bed, 840 

And, having done this, come to me again. 
Then to the assembly will I give her up. 

Val. But whence didst get these damsels ? 

Try. Whence? from heav'n. 

Val. I would not give three oboli for gods 

Who wanton with their harlots like us men. 

Try. Not so, but there too some thus gain their living. 

Val. Now let us go — ^but tell me, shall I give 
Her any thing to eat ? 

Try. She will not eat. 

Nor bread nor cake, since with the gods above 

Still on ambrosia she was wont to feast. 850 

Val. Here too we must accustom her to eat. 

[Exeunt Valet and Opora. 

Cho. Apparently the old man now is happy. 

Try. And what, when a spruce bridegroom you behold me ? 

Cho. Thine age will be a theme of admiration, 

Transform'd to youth again, and myrrh-distilling. 

Try. I think so — but what when I clasp her charms ? 

Cho. More blessed than the fish of Carcinus^ 
Thou wilt appear. 

Try. Is it not justly so. 

For me, who, mounted on my beetle, sav'd 

The Greeks, so that securely o'er the fields 860 

positions he wrote a dithyrambic ode, of which the beginning was — 

'Aocov Aipo^oirav cLrrrepa' 
on which account Aristophanes here calls him the Oriental Star, 

* This is said ironically ; by the fish Aristophanes understands the rough sons of 
that sea-crab Carcinus, or they are so called from a whirling kind of dance, imi- 
tating the conical figure of the shell-fish ; a pine-nut is also denoted by the word 

40 THE PEACE. [Act. iv. Sc. i. 

They move with wanton petulance, and sleep. 

Enter 2 Servants. 
Ser. The girl has bath'd, and all her body's £eiir ; 

The cake is made, the sesame prepar'd. 

And all the articles — but one is wanting. 
Try. Come then, and let us this Theoria bring 

In all haste to the senate. 
Ser. What say'st thou ? 

Is this the same Theoria whom of late 

We dallied with when we had drunk too much. 

And brought her down to Brauron**? 
Try. Of a surety— 

And with great trouble was she seiz'd. 
Sla. O master, 870 

How pleasant, each fifth year, will be her love ! 
Try. Come, who is just among you ? who will e'er 

Take charge of her, and bear her to the senate ? 

[ To the Valet.] But what delineation mak'st thou there? 
Val. Askest thou what ? sketching an Isthmian tent 

To rest my members. 
Try. Say you not to whom 

She shall be given in charge ? come hither thou— 

For I will place thee in the midst of them. 
Val. He nods assent. 
Try. Who ? 

Val. Who? Ariphrades, 

Beseeching you to bring her to him. 
Try. But, 880 

O wretch, he'll fall upon her and lick up 

All the provision — ^but deposit first 

Your vessels on the ground. — Ye Prytanes 

Assembled here, contemplate this Theoria ; 

Reflect what blessings I shall bring on you ; 

That seizing her, and turning up her legs 

In air, ye may perfect the sacred rites — 

Brauron was a city of Attica, near Marathon, where feasts of Bacchus were 
celebrated every fifth year, and a she-gc^t sacrificed to Diana. It was a place of 
very dissolute character. 

870—920.] THE PEACE. 41 

For this it has been purified with smoke ; 

Eor here^ before the war began, were stationed 

The council's pipkins-^since, possessing her, 890 

Tomorrow a fair contest we may raise. 

Wrestle upon the ground, stand at all fours. 

Aim strokes oblique, head foremost, on our knees. 

And, as at the Pancratium, smear'd with oil, 

Strike both with fists and limbs of youthful strength ; 

And on the third day after this ye shall 

Prepare a hippodrome, where the fleet steed 

May pass his fellow-courser in the race. 

And chariots, on each other overtum'd. 

Shall in their parting breath be mov'd together, 900 

While other charioteers in fallen state 

Around the goals all circumcis'd shall lie. 

But, O ye Prytanes, receive Theoria, 

See with what readiness this has received her ! 

But not so were you aught to offer gratis — 

Then had I found thee holding forth a truce. 

Cho. This man's an useful citizen to all, 
With such a disposition. 

Try. You will know 

Much better what I am in vintage time. 

Cho. Even now 'tis manifest how much thou art 910 

A saviour to all men. 

Try. Wilt thou say so. 

When of new wine thou shalt have drunk a bowl? 

Cho. And we will always honour thee the first, 
Saving the gods alone. 

Try. ^ For I, Trygaeus 

Th' Athmonian, have deserv'd right well of you. 
Having from direful toils the city's crowd 
And rustic folk releas'd, and having check'd 

Cho. Come, what must we do next? 

Try. What else but consecrate her with our pots ? 

Cho. With pots, like some complaining Mercury? 920 

Try. What think ye then ? shall't be with fatted ox ? 

Cho. An ox ?— by no means — ^lest we have to seek 

42 THE PEACE. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

For aid from other quarters. 
Try. With a sow then, 

Bulky and fat ? 
Cho. No, no. 

Try. Why ? 

Cho. Lest there be 

A hoggishnessj such as Theagenes' ^ ! 
Try. Then of the others what think'st thou the best ? 
Cho. a sheep. 
Try. a sheep ? 

Cho. I do, by Jupiter. 

Try. But this is an Ionian word. 
Cho. Of purpose. 

That if in the assembly any one 

Should plead for the necessity of war, 930 

The seated multitude thro' fear may cry 

In the Ionic dialect — Oi, Oi. 
Try. Thou sayest well. 
Cho. And be they mild besides. 

So that in mutual disposition we 

Resemble lambs, and be to our allies 

Much milder. 
Try. Come now, take the sheep, and bring it 

As soon as possible, and I will furnish 

A shrine on which to make the sacrifice. 
Cho. How all proceeds according to our mind 

When the god wills and fortune 'stablishes, 940 

And all these things in timely concourse meet ! 
Try. 'Tis plain, for at the doors an altar stands. 
Cho. Now hasten, while the veering gale of war 

Blows from the gods with moderated blast. 
Try. The basket with its barley-cakes is ready. 

The chaplet and the sword — the fire is here. 

And nothing but the sheep delays us now. 
Cho. Will you not work with ail your energies ? 

For if you're seen by Chaeris, he'll be here 

* This Theagenes was a fat and gross debauchee, dissolved in the luxuries of 
wealth, and rolling like a pig in the mire of voluptuousness. 

930-970.] THE PEACE. 43 

To play his pipe^ an uninvited guest; 950 

And then I know full well that you will give him 

Something to compensate his toil and pufBng. 
Try. Come then, take thou the basket and the basin. 

Performing quickly a right-handed course 

Around the shrine. 
Val. Lo, Fve encompassed it — 

Give me another charge. 
Try. ril take this torch, 

And dip it in the stream '^ — move briskly thou — 

Thou hold the salted cake — and cleanse thyself 

When thou hast handed this to me ; and then 

To the spectators scatter meal. 
Val. Behold. 960 

Try. Hast scatter'd it ? 
Val. I have, by Mercury j 

So that, of all thfs number of spectators, 

Not one but has the meal. 
Try. Have the women ? 

Val. Their husbands will at evening give to them. 
Try. Let us begin our prayers. — Who's here ? — where are 

The many and the good ? 
Val. Come, let me give 

To these, for they both numerous are and good. 
Try. Call you these good ? 
Val. Are they not truly so. 

Who, when we pour upon them so much water. 

To the same station come, and there remain I 970 

Try. But let us to our prayers without delay. 
O Peace, most venerable queen, 
Goddess who in the choirs art seen, 

^ rb Sg,Siov t6^ kfipd\pia Xa/3<uv. This was done, according to the Scholiast, 
for the purpose of purifying the water by the virtue of the fire, that universal 
cleanser. In illustration of this rite, he refers to Euripides (Here. Fur. 928.)* So 
Ovid, but in a different sense (Rem. Am. 700.) — 

Non ego Dulichio furiales more sagittas, 
Nee rapidas ausim tingere in amne faces. 

* Athensus, towards the end of the ninth book of his Deipnosophists, likewise 
elucidates this lustral purification. 

44 THE PEACE. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

To whom the nuptial hymns arise^ 
Deign to receive our sacrifice. 
Val. O now thy much-priz*d honour deign. 
And act not like the harlot train, 
Who, by their curtain'd doors inclin'd. 
Retreat from the considering mind. 
Not so do thou. 
Try. By Jove, we pray, 980 

But all thyself to us display; 
Thy lovers, who, with anguish torn, 
These thirteen years of absence mourn ; 
From wars and tumults set as free. 
And be thy name Lysimache. 
Those over-nice suspicions still 
Our mouths with banter wont to fill. 
And mingle Grecian hearts once more 
In juice of friendship, as of yore^ 
Infusing a congenial soul 990 

Which gentle sympathies control. 
And by thy care our market crown'd. 
With greatest blessings still abound ; 
Garlic and melons ripe to view. 
With; apples, those of flaming hue, 
And every less distinguished fruit — 

Small woollen cloaks our slaves to suit ; 

And, from Boeotia let them bring 

Geese, ducks, wrens, doves with feather'd ring; 

And then of eels full baskets take, 1000 

That dwell in the Copaic lake ; 

And let us, supping at the board 

With these delicious fishes stored, 

Contend whose palate most they please. 

With Morychus and Glaucetes, 

Teleas, and gluttons such as these : 

Then may Melantbius come at last 

To market when the sale is past, 

While from his own Medea he 

Cries out in dire soliloquy*, 1010 

« It is not quite agreed among the commentators whether Melanihius here soli- 

980-1030.] THE PEACE. 46 

" I perish, since among the beet 

My eel has chosen to retreat ;" 

While men rejoice at his despair. 

Much honour'd goddess, grant these blessings to our 
Val. Here, take the knife, and thou shalt slay the sheep 

In cook-like fashion. 
Try. But it may not be. 

Val. On what account ? 
Try. Peace not delights, forsooth. 

In slaughter, nor with blood her shrine is stain'd. 

But take the victim in, and slay it, then 

Detach the thighs and bring them here again ; 1020 

The sheep is thus preserved entire for him 

Who furnishes the chorus. 
Cho. And 'tis right 

That thou, while standing at the door, should'st place 

Billets and what is needful to the rites. 

With expedition. 
Try. Think you not that I 

Have plac'd the fagots like a soothsayer? 
Cho. How otherwise ? for what has e'er escap'd 

Thy notice, which a wise man ought to do ? 

What think'st thou not of which becomes a man 

Of mind intelligent and ready daring ? 1030 

Try. The lighted branch now weighs down Stilbides ^ 

A table will I bring too, nor shall we 

Need any servant. 

loquizes from his own tragedy of Medea, or from that of Euripides (v. 95. etc.) — 

dvcrravoQ lyw, fisKsa re TrovufV 

nt» fioi fioh irGiQ cLv 6\oifiaV' 
' A celebrated sooUisayer who accompanied the Athenians in their expedition to 
Sicily, and he is also mentioned by Eupolis in his comedy of the Cities — 

we av TLV i\9(a drjra. 
In this passage Trygaeus, when he speaks of Stilbides, means himself; for, having 
asked the chorus whether he has not arranged the £aigots with the art of a soothsayer, 
now, continuing the metaphor, says that the smoke of the kindled wood weighs 
down or injures (ttiI^ci) the soothsayer. The burning of the thighs or rump, pre- 
scribed by Trygaeus to Hierocles, the soothsayer from Oreum, a city of Bceotia, 
constitute a curious kind of TrvpofiavTua, or sacrifice by fire, to the goddess 

46 THE PEACE. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

Cho. Who would not commend 

A man like this, whose much-enduring force 
Hath sav'd the sacred city ? ne'er shall he then 
Cease to become the envied care of all. 

Val. It is performed — take and lay out the thighs, 
While I go for th^ entrails and the meal. 

Try. Mine shall that care be, but you should have come. 

Val. Lo, I am present — think you I have lingered ? 1040 

Try. Now cook these well ; for some one laurel-crown'd 
Approaches us — who can it ever be ? 

Val. How arrogant he seems ! — this is a prophet. 

Try. Not so, by Jove, none but Hierocles. 

Val. The seer from Oreus. — What has he to say ? 

Try. 'Tis manifest that hell oppose the truce. 

Val. Not so — but for the odour is he come. 

Try. Let us not seem to mark him. 

Val. Thou say'st well. 

Enter Hierocles, the Soothsayer. 

Hie. What sacrifice is this ? and to what god ? 

Try. Cook thou in silence, and beware the loins. 1050 

Hie. To whom this sacrifice ? will you not speak ? 

Try. The rump does well. 

Val. Full bravely, O thou dear 

And venerable Peace. 
Hie. Come, auspicate, 

Then give the earliest offerings. 
Try. 'Twill be better 

To cook them first. 
Hie, But they're already roasted. 

Try. Thou'rt very busy, whosoe'er thou art. 

Cut up — where is a table ? bring the cup. 
Hie. The tongue's a separate part. 
Try. We recollect. 

But know you what to do ? 
Hie. If you will tell me. 

Try. No conversation hold with us, for we 1060 

1040—1080.] THE PEACE. 47 

Perform a sacrifice to holy Peace. 
.Hi£. O sad and foolish mortals ^ 1 
Try. On thine head — 

Hie. Ye who by thoughtless indiscretion led. 

And want of understanding the gods' mind, 

Men, as ye are, with tawny apes make compact. 
Val. Ha, ha ! 

Try. Why laugh? 

Val. The tawny apes delight me. 

Hie. And like the silly doves to foxes trust, 

Of soul and mind deceitful. 
Try. O thou boaster, 

I would thy lungs were warm as this. 
Hie. For if 

The goddess nymphs had Bacis not deceived, 1070 

Nor Bacis mortals, nor again the nymphs 

Had Bacis' self beguiFd ; 
Try. Be hang'd to you. 

Unless you leave Bacizing. 
Hie. 'Twas thus fated 

The chains of peace to loosen, but this first — 
Try. With the salt brine these must be sprinkled, since — 
Hie. It is not pleasing to the blessed gods 

To cease from strife, ere wolf with lamb conjoin. 
Try. But how, O wretch, can wolf and lamb be join'd 

In hymenean bond ? 
Hie. Even as the leech 

Sends forth in flight a most pernicious odour ; 1080 

And as the barking bitch, press'd by her pains. 

Brings forth blind whelps ; mean time it is not right 

That peace should yet be made. 
Try. What then behov'd 

f This is the beginning of the oracle given to the Athenians by the priestess 
Stratonice, at the arrival of Xerxes in Greece, mentioned by Herodotus (Polyhymnia, 
c. 140.) The execration with which Tiygseus concludes this line, kg xi^aKiiv aoi, 
" occurs again in the Plutus (v. 526. )> addressed by Chremylus to Poverty. The 
next fifty lines consist of hexameters, of which those beginning at ▼. 1056. are 
Homeric verses, taken from various passages of the Iliad (H. 301 ; P. 273; A. 467; 
and Od, H. 137.) 

48 THE PEACE. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

That we had done ? — not to have ceas'd from wir ? 

Or to have cast lots which should have wept the most ; 

When we by mutual treaty could obtain 

Sole empire over Greece ? 
Hie. Ne'er wilt thou make 

A crab straight-forward move. 
Try. Nor e'er wilt thou 

Hereafter in the Prytaneum sup** ; 

Nor, since the deed has been perform'd^ wilt thou 

In future act as prophet. 
Hie. Nor would'st thou 1091 

E'er make the rough sea-urchin smooth again. 
Try. Wilt thou ne'er cease beguiling the Athenians ? 
Hie. And by what oracle's command have ye 

Consum'd the thighs in honour of the gods ? 
Try. By that which Homer has so finely sung : 

" Thus having driven off the hostile cloud 

Of battlfe, they received to their embrace. 

And with a victim consecrated Peace : 

But when the thighs were in the fire consum'd, 1 100 

And on the entrliils they had fed, they pour'd 

Libations from the cups — I led the way. 

But to the seer none a bright goblet gave." 
Hie. I've no concern in these things, for not thus 

The sibyl spoke. 
Try. But the wise Homer said 

Full opportunely — ** Of no tribe is he, 

Devoid of law and home, who cherishes 

Contention fierce among the people raging." 
Hie* See, lest the kite your minds by fraud beguile. 

And snatch away the prize. 
Try. Be that thy care, 11 1*0 

[To the Valet. 

For dreadful to the entrails is this sentence. 

i> The ancient soothsayers were maintained at the public cost, especially in time 
of war, when their services were indispensable. It is therefore not to be wondered 
at if Hierocles dislikes a state of peace, for, as Tiygaeus says (v. 1013.) — 

dijXog ea& ovrog y* '6ti 
kvavTuaat rat ti tcuq haWayaiq, 

1090—1130.] THE PEACE. 40 

Pour the libation out^ and of the intestines 

Bring a part hither. 
Hie. But if you think well 

I'll serve myself. 
Try. Libation^ the libation ! 

[To the Valet. 
Hie. Pour out to me, and bring my share of entrails. 
Try. But this the blessed gods not yet approve. 

We first must sacrifice, and then depart. 

O venerable Peace, remain with us 

While life endures ! 
Hie. Bring the tongue hither. 

Try. Thou 

Bear away thine. 
Hie. Libation ! 

Try. And take this 1120 

[To the Valet. 

Together with it, quickly. 
Hie. Will no one 

Give me my share of entrails ? 
Try. We cannot. 

Before the wolf shall marry with the lamb. 
Hie. Nay, by thy knees. 
Try. In vain thou supplicat'st, 

O friend, for thou wont make the hedge-hog smooth. 

Come hither, O spectators, eat some entrails 

With us. 
Hie. And what shall I ? 

Try. Devour the sibyl. 

Hie. Nay, by the earth, alone ye shall not eat them, 

But I will snatch them from the midst of vou. 
Try. O strike, strike Bacis! 

Hie. You I call to witness. 1 130 

Try. And I, that thou art a vain boasting glutton. 

Strike, and restrain this braggart with your staff*. 
Val. See thou to that, and I will ravish from him 

The victims' skins which he by fraud has taken. 

Wilt not lay down the hides, O soothsayer ? 

Hear'st thou what crow hath come from Oreus? 
vol. II. '^ 

50 THE PEACE. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

Wilt thou not quickly to Elymnium fly ? 

S.-C. I joy, I joy in having laid aside 

1. The helmet, cheese, and onion* — since in wars 

I take no pleasure, but with my companions 1140 

Drag on my time in drinking at the fire, 

And burning whatsoever of the wood 

Had been dried up by summer's scorching heat, 

Parching the peas to cinder, with the beech ; 

And at the same time dallying with the maid, 

While his wife bathes ; for there is nothing better 

Than when the sowing is already done. 

And Jove descends in showers, some neighbour says, 

" Tell me, what do we now, Comarch ides''? 

I fain would drink, while the god prospers us. 1150 

But burn three chaenixes of beans, O woman. 

Mingling wheat with them, and the choice of figs. 

While Syra calls out Manes from the field ; 

For 'tis not possible that we to-day 

Should trim the vines, or plough the humid soil. 

And let some one from me a thrush convey, 

With two goldfinches. — There was curdled milk 

Within, and hare into four portions cut — 

Unless at eve the weazel bore away 

Some part of them^ — there was in sooth a noise 1 160 

And tumult of I know not what within. 

Of these, O boy, bring three to us, and one 

Give to my father. — Of iEschinades 

Beg some fruit-bearing myrtles ; and let some one 

Call by the same way on Charinades, 

That he may drink with us, while the god pours 

His blessing on the increase of our land." 

S.-C. And while her sweet strain the cicala sings, 
2. With pleasure I survey the Lemnian vines, 

' Onions and cheese were the common food of soldiers in ancient times — they are 
here taken by synecdoche for war in the abstract. 

*^ This is doubtless the appellation of one of the chorus, who is here addressed 
by name, as in the Wasps (v. 230, etc.), where some of the old men composing the 
choral band are also spoken to by the Coryphaeus under their names, Comias, Stry^ 
m»dorus, etc. 

1140— 1190.] THE PEACE. 51 

Watching their progress to maturity. 1 170 

For 'tis a plant that bears precocious fruit. 

Moreover I delight the swelling fig 

To view, and place it to my mouth when ripe, 

Exclaiming as I eat, " O cherish'd hours !" 

Then with the draught I mingle bruised thyme ; 

More pleas'd in summer to grow corpulent. 

Than see a general, hated by the gods, 

Bearing three crests and robe of liveliest purple, 

Engrain'd, as he declares, with Sardian dye*; 

But if at any time he has to fight, 1180 

Rob'd in this gorgeous garb, straight is he ting'd 

With Cyzicenic tincture. — Then he flies 

First, as a cockhorse swift, shaking his crests — 

While I stand most intent upon the nets. 

But soon as they arrive at home they act 

Intolerable things — some of our number 

Enrolling, some effacing twice or thrice. 

At their caprice — they come out on the morrow — 

When this man cannot purchase his provisions. 

For he knew not before of his departure. 1 190 

Then passing by the statue of Pandion"* 

He sees his name, and in perplexity 

Runs on, and weeps his woe with rueful eye — 

'Tis thus these cowards, gods' and men's aversion, 

Act by us rustics : but in different fashion 

They treat the townsmen — yet shall they account 

To me for't, if the deity be willing. 

Since they have greatly injur'd me, at home 

Like lions, but mere foxes in the fight. 

I Acharnians, v. 112. The cities of Asia were celebrated for their excellent 
manufacture of purple (see the note on the Acharnians, v. 1 12.) 

■Q There were, according to the Scholiast, at Athens, twelve columns inscribed 
with the names of soldiers and military edicts. One of these appears to have been 
erected to each tribe, and the choral personage here speaking declares that he saw 
his name inscribed on that of the tribe Pandion. These columns were called &v- 
SpidvreQ r&v kviavvfuav, or simply, oi krcww^oi* They were set up in an open 
place at Athens, near the Prytan^um. 


52 THE PEACE. [Act t. Sc. k 


Enter Tryg^us. 

Try. Ho, what a crowd comes to the nuptial feast ! 

Hold, cleanse the table with this helmet's crest, 1201 
For we have now no further need of it — 
Then bring the cakes and thrushes, hare in plenty. 
And loaves. 

Enter a Scythe Manufacturer. 

S. M. Where's Trygaeus ? 

Try. Boiling thrushes. 

S. M. O dearest friend, TrygaBus, how much good 
Thou hast conferred on us by making peace ! 
Before this time no one would buy a scythe, 
Not for a farthing, but I sell them now 
For fifty drachmae, and field-kegs for three — 
But, O Trygaeus, freely take some sickles, 1210 

And what you will of these receive beside ; 
For from this profitable merchandise 
These presents we bring to thee for the marriage. 

Try. Go now within, lay by these things at home. 
And come to supper in all haste, for see — 
This weapon-monger comes weigh'd down with care. 

Enter an Armourer. 

Arm. Ah me ! how, O TrygaBus, from the root 

Hast thou destroyed me ! 
Try. O ill-fated wretch ! 

What ails thee? makest thou no longer crests? 
Arm. Thou hast destroy'd my trade and sustenance ; 1220 

His too, — and his, the furbisher of spears. 
Try. What then shall I lay down for these two crests ? 
Arm. And what giv'st thou? 
Try, What give I ? Fm asham'd : 

1200-^1240.] THE PEACE. 53 

But nathless^ since the work requires much trouble, 
I'd give for them three chaenixes of figs^ 
That I might rub my table clean with this. 

Arm. Go then within, and bear the figs with thee; 
For to take this, O friend, is more than nought. 

Try. Bear, bear them from the house, with a plague to you. 
The hair falls off, the crests are nothing worth, 1230 
I would not buy them for a single fig. 

Enter a Maker of Breastplates. 

M.B. Wretch that I am, to what use shall I put 

This well-wrought breastplate, often minae's. worth? 
Try. This will not cause thee any loss — ^but give it 

At the same price to me, for *tis well fitted 

To use in cases of necessity. 
M.B. Cease to revile me and my merchandise. 
Try. Here, I have plac'd three stones, is it not right ? 
M.B. And, O thou most unskilful man, which hand 

Wilt thou employ in cleansing ? 
Try. This, when I 1240 

Have pass'd it through the seat, this too. 
M.B. What both 

At the same time ? 
Try. I, would, by Jupiter, 

That I may not be caught clandestinely 

Stopping the vessel's oar-holps**. 
M.B. Would'st then sit 

And ease the load of nature on a vessel 

That cost ten minae ? 
Try. Yes, I would, by Jove, 

O cursed wretch — for think'st thou I will sell 

My fundament to gain a thousand drachmae? 

° This was a specimen of the roguery of the trierarchs, whose office it was to 
supply the rowera in the galleys with their usual provision of flour, onions, and 
cheese, and who, in order to secure to themselves the stipend of some of the rowers, 
were in the habit of stopping up several holes in the vessel, to which the oars werft 
fastened, in order to decrease the number of those who had to work it, and thus 
appropriate to themselves the pay which they must have dispersed, had the com- 
plement of rowel's been full. 

54 THE PEACE. [Act v. Sc. i. 

M.B. Come, bring the silver hither. 

Try. But, my friend, 

It galls my hinder, parts — take it away, 1250 

I will not buy it. 

Enter a Dealer in Trumpets. 

D.T. How shall I employ 

This trumpet which I bought for sixty drachmas? 

Try. If you pour lead into this cavity. 

And fix a long rod at the upper end. 
You will obtain a cottabus to play with. 

D.T. Ah ! you deride me. 

Try. I will give you now 

Another caution — having pour'd within 
The lead, as I directed, add thereto 
A scale by cords suspended, to weigh out 
The figs to thy domestics in the field. 1260 

Enter a Helmet Maker. 

H.M. O thou implacable divinity, 

How hast thou ruin'd me, since erst for these 

I gave a mina! — ^What shall I do now? 

For who will purchase them of me again ? 
Try. Go, sell them to the Egyptians, for they're fit 

To measure out syrma&a®. 

Enter an Armourer. 

Arm. O casque maker, 

In what a wretched state are our affairs ! 

o This is the juice of an herb from which the Egyptians made a drink of efficacy 
in curing diarrhsas ; Herodotus (Euterpe, 77.) uses the word ovpfiatl^eiv in the 
sense of cleansing, Suidas considers this potion a sort of barley drink, as well as 
a composition of honey and fat. Hence our satirical poet calls the Egyptians 
fiekavoffvpfiaXov \tbjv (Thesm. 857. Fl. Chris.; Bergler.) Donnegan, quoting 
Erotian, defines it also " the radish" {pa^viQ)y so called as its juice was used by 
the Egyptians, with salt and water, to produce vomiting. Photius, in his lexicon, 
says that it was used both as a cathartic and an emetic. 

1250—1^90.] THE PEACE. 55 

Try. This man has suffered nothing. 

H.M. But what use 

Will any one hereafter make of casques ? 
Try. If he should learn to fabricate such handles, 1270 

He on much better terms than now will sell them. 
H.M. Depart we, armourer. 
Try. By no means, since 

Of this man will I buy these spears of his. 
Arm. What would you give then ? 
Try. Were they sawn in half, 

rd take the poles, a hundred for a drachmas. 
Arm. We are revil'd. — O friend, let us retire. 
Try. Do so, by Jove — since, as it seems to me, 

The children of the guests are coming hither. 

To pump themselves, and meditate their songs. 

Enter Children. 

But whatso'er is in thy mind to sing, 1280 

O child, stand near me here, and prelude first. 
C. 1. Let us again begin from warlike men. 
Try. Cease to sing men of war now peace is made, 

O thou by an ill spirit thrice possessed. 

Who uninstructed art, and execrable, 
C. 1 . Now to each other when they had come near, 

They cast away their spears and well-boss'd shields — 
Try. Wilt thou ne'er cease reminding us of shields ? 
C. 1. Thence mingled groans, and prayers of men arose — 
Try. The groans of men ? by Bacchus, he shall weep 1290 

His songs of lamentation and boss'd shields. 
C. 1. What shall I sing then? say what strains delight you? 
Try. " Thus on beeves' flesh they fed," and such like themes — 

Their meal they spread of every sweetest meat. 
C. L So they on flesh of oxen banqueted — 

And, satisfied with battle, from the yoke 

Loos'd their steeds' sweating necks. 
Try. Well then, they eat. 

When satisfied with war — sing how they eat. 
C. 1. Then having ceas'd they put their breastplates on — 

56 THE PEACE. [Act. v. Sc. i. 

Try. Full willingly I trow. 

C. 1. They pour'd themselves 1300 

Down from the towers — meanwhile a shout arose' 

That could not be extinguished. 
Try. Mayst thou die 

The worst of deaths, infant, with these thy battles, 

For nought thou sing'st but wars — and whose art thou? 
C. 1. I? 

Try. Thou, by Jove. 

C. 1. The son of Lamachus. 

Try. Hui ! Hearing thee I'should in truth have wonder'd, 
Hadst thou not been the offspring of some man 
Whose inclination are the tears of war. 
Go to the dogs, and sing to the spear-bearers — 
Where is the offspring of Cleonymus ? 1310 

Sing something ere thou enter, for I know 
Full well thou wilt not sing of troublous themes. 
Born of so wise a sire. 

C^^ 2. One of the Saians 

Rejoices in the spear, which near a bush 
Unstain'd in war, I left reluctantly. 

Try. Tell me, O boy, singest thou for thy father ? 

C. 2. My life I sav'd. 

Try. Yes, to thy parent's shame. 

But let us enter, for I clearly know 
That, sprung from such a father, thou wilt ne'er 
Forget what lately of the spear thou sang'st. 1320 

'Twill be your future care, who here remain, 
To break all these provisions into powder — 
Nor move your jaws in vain, but manfully 
Cast all your energies into the work. 
And chew with all your grinders — for, O wretches. 
White teeth are nought, unless they masticate. 

Cho. Ours shall this care be, tho' thy caution's good. 

Try. But oh ! ye who before this time have hunger'd, 

Now stuff yourselves with hare's flesh, since each day 
One cannot meet with unprotected cakes. * > 1330 
Devour, then, or, I say, you'll soon repent. 

Cho. 'Tis right to speak well-omen'd words, and let 

1300—1360.] THE PEACE. 57 

Some one conduct the bride with torches hither, 

And all the joyous people shout together ; 

Nor should we bring into the field again 

Our utensils, with dances and libations. 

After we have expelVd Hyperbolus, 

And pray'd the gods to bless with wealth the Greeks, 

To make for us abundant store of com, 

Plenty of wine, and figs for all to eat ; • 1340 

And that our women may bring forth, and all 

Those good things we have lost, collect again, 

As at the first, and stay the burning steel. 

Hither, O women, come into the field, 

And, beauteous as thou art, lie down by me. 

S. -C.I.Hymen, O Hymenaeus! 

S.-C.2. O thrice blest ! 

How justly thou posses sest thy good things ! 

Hymen, O Hymenaeus, Hymen O ! 

What shall we do, what shall we do with her ? 

Grind, grind her as at vintage time — but, friends, 1350 

Let us, who are appointed to the task, 

Take up and bring the bridegroom — Hymen, O! 

O ! Hymen, Hymenaeus ! — ye shall live 

Bravely, with nought to do but gather figs. 

Hymen, O Hymenaeus, Hymen, O ! 

His great and thick, hers sweet, as you shall say, 

When you have eat, and wine in plenty drunk. 

Hymen, O Hymenaeus, Hymen, O ! 

Try. Hymen, O Hymenaeus ! Farewell, friends, 

[ To the audience. 
And if you follow me, you shall eat cakes. 1360 



LYSISTRATA, {wife of one of the principal Athenian magistrates.) 


















Certain Mutes. 

The scene lies in the citadel of Athens, 

• N. B. In the MS. of Trinity College, Cambridge, ^rpvfioSwpa and "STparti' 
XdTijQ occur amongst the Dramatis PersonaB, and in the editions before Brunck's 
these are also found — 



which that learned editor rightly expunged, as they are persons of the chorus (see 
vv. 254. 259.) The latter is also one of the chorus in the Wasps (see v. 233. of 
that comedy.) 





The Lysistrata bears so evil a character that we must make but 
fugitive mention of it, like persons passing over hot embers. The 
women, according to the poet's invention, have taken it into their 
heads, by a severe resolution, to compel their husbands to make 
peace. Under the guidance of their clever chieftain they organize a 
conspiracy for this end through all Greece, and at the same time get 
possession, in Athens, of the fortified Acropolis. The terrible plight 
into which the husbands are reduced by this separation occasions the 
most ridiculous scenes ; ambassadors come from both the belligerent 
parties, and the peace is concluded with the greatest despatch, under 
the direction of the clever Lysistrata. — In spite of all the bold in- 
decencies which the play contains, its purpose, divested of these, is, 
on the whole, very innocent ; the longing for the pleasures of do- 
mestic life, which were so often interrupted by the absence of the 
men, is to put an end to this unhappy war, which was ruining all 
Greece. The honest coarseness of the Lacedaemonians, in particular, 
is inimitably well pourtrayed. 



Enter Lysistrata. 

Lys. But if to Bacchus' orgies any one * 

Had caird the women, or to Pan's or Colias', 
Or Genetyllis', they had ne'er been able 
To come again back for the tympanums ; 
But now no other woman's to be seen 
Except my neighbour here who's coming forth. 
O Calonice^ hail — 

Enter Calonice. 

Cal. And hail to thee, 

Lysistrata. — What is't that troubles thee ? 

Wear not, O child, this downcast countenance. 

For to contract thy brow becomes thee not. 10 

Lys. But my heart burns with rage, O Calonice, 

And greatly for us women am I griev'd 

That by the men we are accounted all 

To be perverse — 
Cal. And so we are, by Jove. 

* kQ BaKx^tov fi *Q TlavbQ rj Vi KwXia^ jj *c TevervWidoc* Lysistrata 

enters on the stage as if reasoning with or speaking to herself. Baxxeiov may 
denote the Bacchic orgies themselves, as well as the temple in which they are 
celebrated. The chapel of Pan, called Paneum in Attica, as well as that of Colias, 
was situated near Anaphlystum. The Celiac temple was dedicated to Venus, and 
so named from the members (ic&Xa) of a youth that had been bound by robbers 
and untied by the daughter of their chief, (see the note on the Clouds, v. 53.) 

6t THE LYSISTRATA. [Act i. Sc. i. 

Lys. When 'twas decreed they should assemble here, 

To hold a council on no trifling matter, 

They sleep and come not — 
Cal. But, O dearest friend, 

They soon will com^ — 'Tis difficult for women 

To go abroad — for one of us awaits 

Her husband's will, one rouses her domestic, 20 

One puts her child to bed, another laves. 

Another puts the food into its mouth. 
Lys. But there are other things more worth their pains. 
Cal. Then for what cause, O dear Lysistrata, 

Us women have you summoned — what's the business f 

Of what dimensions? 
Lys. Great. 

Cal. And thick withal ? 

Lys. And thick, by Jove. 

Cal. Why come we not all then? 

Lys. 'Tis not the way — for soon we could have come 

Together — ^but there is a work by me 

Plann'd and revolv'd through many a sleepless night. 
Cal. Th' affair so cast about is something fine. 31 

Lys. So fine, that in the women's hands is plac'd 

The salTety of all Greece — 
Cal. The women's hands ? 

Then is it little worth. 
Lys. So as in us 

The state's affairs are plac'd, and Pelops' isle 

Has no more citizens — 
Cal. By Jupiter, 

'Twere better that there should be none. 
Lys. And all 

Boeotia's sons may perish — 
Cal. Nay, not all — 

Except the eels ^ — 
Lys. Upon the head of Athens 

I will not utter such a thought : have thou 40 

A different notion of me : but if here 

*» d0eX£ raffcyxlXcic' i, e. the eels of the lake Copais (now Limnse,) highly 

esteemed for their richness, (see the Peace, V. 970.) 


30—60.] THE LYSISTRATA, 65 

The women congregate, they from Bosotia, 
From th' isle of Pelops, and ourselves, will save 
Greece by a common effort, 

Cal. But what deed. 

Prudent or brilliant, can our sex achieve, 
Who sit drest out with flowers, and bearing robes 
Of saffron hue, and richly hroider'd o'er 
With loose Cimmerian vests and circling sandals'^? 

Lys. These are in truth what I expect will save us ; 

The saffron- colour'd robes, and myrrh, and sandals, 50 
Alkanet root and the transparent tunica. 

Cal. But how? 

Lyb. So that no men who are now alive 

Shall lift the spear against each other's breast. 

Cal. I'll, by the goddesses, be saffron-dyed. 

Ly9. Nor take the shield. 

Cal. I'll put on the Cimmerian. 

Lys. Nor sword. 

Cal. I'll purchase for myself the slippers. 

Lys. AVas not the women's presence then requir'd ? 

Cal. Nay, but by Jove, they should have flown long since. 

Lys, But with a plague thou wilt perceive that they 

Are very Attic women, doing all 60 

Much sloner than they ought— but from the coasts 
There is none present, nor from Salamis. 

Cal. Yet well I know they started at the dawn 
In their swift boats. 

Lys. Nor come the Achamian women. 

Whom I expected first to have arriv'd — 

Cal. Meanwhile the consort of Theagenes, 

' tai Kiix^ip'iK ipSoardSia tat wipilSapi^ac' Some MSS. and the Junta edi- 
tions read ciji^rpicDpSairdJin, without d.ay distinction of words. The former 
evidenllj denotes some gannent, perhaps a tonic, x "'">''''«'>'. which received its 
name from the place of its invention. Pmbably the same nbich Callimachus de- 
nominates ardStot: xiruf Iata1-i^[u^i(^a (Beotlej Frag. lix.) So Pholius in his 
Lexicon referring, aa it appears, to this very passage, says, icip^fpnov eWdc x""""- 
viffiDu- oiiriuc 'ApuTTofovijE" " das tuniques sans coutume dont il est pail^ dans 
St. Jean evang. xii. 2a."— (Note of the French Translator.) The ^ipipapiSie 
were shoes worn indiscriminately by women of good condition and fay maid-ser- 


66 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act i. Sc. i. 

As if with the design of coming hither, 

Ask*d counsel of the Hecat^an image ^. 

But some are coming now — and more besides — 

Aha, whence are they ? 
Lys. These from Anagyrus'. 70 

Cal. In truth they are. I think that Anagyrus 

Has been mov'd hither — 

Enter Myrrhine. 

Myr. Are we come too late, 

Lysistrata ? — What say'st thou ? why so silent ? 
Lys. I praise not, Myrrhine, thy coming now 

On matter of such moment. 
Myr. In the dark 

I scarce could find my girdle, but if aught 

Be very pressing in the business, tell 

Us who are present now. 
Lys. By Jupiter — 

But let us wait some little space at least. 

Till the Boeotian women come, and those 80 

From Pelops' isle — 
Myr. Thou speakest wisely. 

And here is Lampito approaching — 

Enter Lampito. 

Lys. Hail, 

Lampito, dearest of Laconian women. 
How shines thy beauty, O my dearest friend ! 
How fresh thy colour ! what a vigorous frame ! 
Thou could'st e'en choke a bull. 

^ BoiKdr€iov iipero. This is the excellent emendation of the learned 

Bentley (ad Callimach. Fragment, ccxxvii.) for the common reading r&Kdriov* 
The superstitious character of the wife of Theagenes is strongly exemplified by her 
(leeking counsel of a senseless image. 

* This was an Attic burgh denominated from a hero of that name, who having 
overturned the houses belonging to it, gave rise to the proverb Kiveie rbv *Xv&yvpovm 
It also denoted a plant of fetid odour. (Schol.) 

70-100.] THE LYSISTRATA. 67 

Lam. I think I could ; 

By the two goddesses — with body stripped ' 
I sport and leap with the gymnastic pole. 

Lam. You handle me as if I were a victim. 90 

Lys. But from what region is this other damsel ? 
Lam. An honourable woman from Boeotia 

Is coming towards you, by the goddesses. 
Lys. By Jove 'tis a Boeotian dame possess*d 

Of fair estate — 
Cal. And that, by Jupiter, 

Most cultivated, since the pennyroyal 

Is weeded out — 
Lys, And who's the other girl? 

Lam. a noble damsel, by the goddesses s. 

But a Corinthian. 
Lys. She is plainly honest. 

As any in these parts. 
Lam. But who hath gather'd 100 

This female crowd together? 

' It appears from this passage that the Lacedaemonian women had their palses- 
tras as -well as the men, in which they exercised themselves in a sort of leap 
described by Lampito and called pipatng. See the Andromache, v. 596, and sqq., 
where the Amazonian character of the Lacedaemonian virgins is as highly con- 
demned by Peleus, as it is held up to the emulation of the Roman ladies by Pro- 
pertius (lib. iii. £1. xii.) 

Multa tuae, Sparte, miramur jura palaestrae, 
Sed mage virginei tot bona gymnasii. 
And at the conclusion, 

Quod si jura fores pugnasque imitata Laconum, 
Carior hoc esses tu mihi, Roma, bono. 

9 xota fjLkv val ffiio. The word xatov» which is sometimes a dissyllable, denotes 
what is generous, noble, or good, val (rita is said according to the Lacedaemonian 
dialect for fjid Oeut, the form by which the Athenian women invoked the goddesses 
Ceres and Proserpine. The interpretation of firunck which I have adopted appears 
the most natural and unforced. Seager, however, understands the ravra in 
ravraylf and rd in rivrivOtvl, to agree with fikpfj understood, as if the line were 
pronounced Suktik&q by Lysistrata> pointing to some part of the Corinthian 
woman's person ; supposing x^^oq or %adc to be applicable to bodily as well as 
moral excellence ; but of this extension of the meaning examples appear to me want- 
ing. The Scholiast says xata &vtI tov dyaOrj' and the interpretation of the Greek 
Commentator upon JEschylus (Supplices 865. liytog iyut PaOvxctiog) is 17 fteydXoic 
(ifysviiQ* xadi ydp ol EifytViiQ. 


68 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act i. Sc. i. 

Lys. *Twas myself. 

Lam. Then tell us what you wish. 

Lys. By Jove I will, 

thou dear woman. 

Myr. Say then what design 

Hast thou so serious ? — 
Lys. I will tell you now. 

But first I wish to ask you a small question. 
Myr. Whatever you desire — 
Lys. Regret you not 

Your children's fathers absent with the army? 

For well I know you all have distant husbands. 
Cal. 'Tis now five months since mine has been in Thrace ^, 

(O man ill fated !) guarding Eucrates. 110 

Myr. And mine has been for seven whole months in Pylos. 
Lam. While mine, as soon as he has left the ranks, 

Girds on his buckler and flies straight away. 
Lys. But not a spark of gallantry is left. 

For since we were betray'd by the Milesians, 

1 have not seen a vase eight fingers long. 
That we might have a leathern consolation. 
Would you then wish, if I could find the means. 
With me concurring to dissolve the war ? 

Myr. I, by the goddesses, should any need 120 

Cause me to place my purple robe in pawn, 
I'd drink it out that very day. 

Cal. And I 

Imagine that I could divide myself. 
And Hke a rhombus render up the half. 
And I would to Taygetus ascend, 
That, from its summit, peace I might survey. 

^ Ibis line alludes to the rebellious disposition of the Thracian Chalcidians, who 
after the memorable defeat of the Athenians at Syracuse revolted from them, and 
became constant objects of watchful suspicion to their former allies. Eucrates, 
mentioned in the next line, was an Athenian general, noted for corrupt practices, 
treachery, and peregrinity. From Myrrhine's reply in the following verse, Palmer 
conjectures that Pylos was still in the power of the Athenians, and that the Lysis- 
trata was brought upon the stage before the twenty-third year of the war, when Dio- 
des was Archon, as in that year the Lacedaemonians had recovered possession of 
this important fortress. 

^ 110-180.] THE LYSISTRATA. 




I'll speak then — since the words should not be hid 

If we desire, O women, to compel 

The men to keep at peace, we must abBtain — 


Myr. From what? declare — 


You'll do it then? 



We will. 
Even should it be required of us to die. 



You must then spare the conjugal embrace. 
Why are ye thus turn'd from me?— whither go ye': 
Why with clos'd eyes shake ye your heads at me t 
Why is the colour chang'd I whence falls the tear ': 
Will you or will you not! why this delay? 


.1 cannot do it, let the war go on. 



By Jove, nor I— then let the war go on. 


Speakest thou this, O rhombus? when juat now 

'Twas thy design to cut thyself in half. 



Wh^itever else thou wiahest.— If I must, 
I through the fire will pass : much rather this, 
Than loss of marriage rites, which have no equal, 
dear Lysistrata, 




[io Lampito.] And what wilt thou ? 




. I too am willing thro' the fire to pass. 




How thoroughly salacious is our sex! 
The Tragedies describe us not in vain ; 
For we are nought save Neptune and his bark. 
But, O my dear Lacaenian, if thou wilt 


Stand up with me alone, we yet may save 


Our lost affairs— do but agree with me. 

* • * • * 

[Here twenty-five lines are omitted.'] 


* s • « « 


,. If this be your opinion 'tis ours too. 


. And so shall our persuasion win our husbands 
Still without guile to keep the bond of peace. 

And how can one persuade th' Athenian crowd 


Not to approach with hostile torrent's course? 


Nay, give yourself no trouble— we will use 
Our utmost of persuasion — 


All in vain— 



70 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act i. Sc. i. 

While they with ardent zeal equip their galleys ', 

And to the goddess* guardian care entrust 

The silver-stored abyss''. 
Lys. Due preparation 

For this too hath been made — this very day 

We'll take possession of th' Acropolis. 

For so 'tviras given in charge to the most aged^ 

While these designs we meditate, to seize 190 

The citadel as if for sacrifice. 
Lam. May all this prosper as thou speakest well. 
Lys. Why not then Lampito with all despatch 

Swear such an oath as may not be mfring'd ? 
Lam. Propose to us the oath that we may swear. 
Lys. Thou speakest well — where is the Scythian woman * ? 

To what point lookest thou ? — before me place 

A shield supine, and some one bring the victim. 
Myr. Lysistrata, by what oath wilt thou bind us ? 
Lys. By what ? once, on the buckler, as they say ", 200 

^schylus, having sacrificed a sheep — 
Myr. But swear thou nothing, O Lysistrata, 

Upon a buckler, that relates to peace. 

* ovx aq ffirodag l%a)m cal Tpiripite* ^The reading of this passage is much 
controverted. The Ravenna MS. gives a-jrovdag, the Aldine edition oi/ XiairSnyyac, 
Bentley oifK dffTriSag* Bergler proposes to read a'TroS&g in the accusative, in order 
that the sentence may he more perspicuous — ag is Doric for stag, h'tnog, fikxpig* 
Dindorf renders the line, non puituadebis, quamdiu, saltern triremes instruantur^ 
The French translator, " vous n'y r6ussirez pas, tant que durera leur ardeur a 
construire leurs triremes." 

^ Alluding to the puhlic treasure which was kept in the hack part of the temple 
of Minerva Polias at Athens, (see the note on the Plutus, v. 1269.) 

* The puhlic servants at Athens, the apparitors of the magistrates, ol to^otm, of 
whom frequent mention is made in these plays, (see particularly the Thesmophoriazuse, 
V. 1000, etc.) were harharians and foreigners, chiefly from Scythia, hence denomi- 
nated Sic^dat, (as in v. 450, below). Lysistrata here facetiously addresses the 
maid-servant as if she were a minister of the female council, ^Kv9aiva» Thus in 
the Ecclesiaz. (713.) KtipvKaiva denotes a woman hei'ald, (Brunck.) 

°* Alluding probably to the adjuration mentioned in JEschylus (vii. ad Theb. v. 
42.), where the Argive chieftains kill a bull and swear by its blood poured into a 
shield with a black rim. The solemn nature of this oath contrasted with the levity 
of that proposed by Lysistrata, must have had a highly ludicrous effect, and been 
much relished by an Athenian audience. Brunck compares the Acharnians (558.) 
icapaOtg vvv virridv air^g inol. 

190—360.] THE LYSISTRATA. 71 

Lys. What then can be our oath ? 

M YR. If jfrom some place 

We take a white horse and dissect the victim. 
Lys. Wherefore a white horse ? 
M YR. But how shall we swear ? 

Lys. By Jupiter, I'll tell you, if you wish. 

Turning a large black chalice upside down. 

We'll make libation from a pitcher full 

Of Thasian wine, and swear to pour no water 210 

Into the cup. 
Lam. Ah ! what an oath ! how much 

I praise it, is not to be told.' Let some one 

Bring from within a goblet and a pitcher. 

[They are brought from all sides. 
Lys. Oh dearest women, what a crowd of vessels ! 

Whoever seizes this may well rejoice. 

Deposit this, and take the victim boar. 

O queen persuasion, and thou, friendly cup. 

Receive the sacrifices in a mood 

Propitious to the women. 
Myr. Of good colour 

The blood, and whizzes finely out. 
Lam. And smells 330 

Sweetlyj by Castor. 
Lys. Suffer me, O women. 

To swear the first. 
Myr. Not so, by Aphrodite, 

At least unless you should by lot obtain it. 

« « « « « 

[30 lines omitted,] 

« « « « ♦ 

Lam. What shout is this ? 

Lys. 'Tis what I warn'd you of. 

For now the goddess' Acropolis 
Has by the female band been occupied. 
But thou, O Lampito, retreat, and place 
All your affairs in order, leaving these 
As pledges here with us : and we can fasten 
The bolts with tb' others in the citadel. 360 

7« THE LYSISTRATA. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

M TR. And think you not that presently our husbands 

Will come with aid against us ? 
Lys. Them I hold 

In small account — for they will not possess^ 

When they arrive, so many threats and fire 

As to unbar these gates, save on the terms 

Declar'd by us. 
Myr. Never, by Aphrodite — 

For otherwise we women should in vain 

Be caird unwarlike and detestable. [Exeunt. 

Chorus of Old Men, in two divisions, 

Cho. Advance with slow step, Draces, tho' thy shoulder 

Grieve at the burden of this olive trunk °. 270 

S.-C. Truly, there are in life's long course, alas ! 

1. Full many things imhop'd for — since who could, 
O Strymodorus, e'er have thought to hear 
That women, whom we have been nourishing, 
A clear domestic plague, should seize upon 
The sacred image and my citadel. 

With bolts and bars fastening the propylsea. 
S.-C. But let us, O Philargus, in all haste 

2. Go to the citadel, that having plac'd 

These roots in circular array about them, 280 

As many as establish'd and took part 

In this affair, rearing a single pyre. 

With our own hands we may ignite them all 

By one decree, and first the wife of Lycon** — 

For not, by Ceres, while I live, shall they 

" With this linei which should undoubtedly be read after Brunck, KopfiovQ to* 
ffovTovl pdpoQ %Xa>pac ffisputv kXaag, although against the opinion of Invernizius, 
compare Euripides, Hercules Furens, v. 240 — 

vXovpyovf; dpvbg 

o Named, according to the Scholiast, the Rhodian. The mother of Autolycus, 
and a woman of base character. 

270—310.] THE LYSISTRATA. 73 

Gape opeii-moutli'd upon us, since nor he, 

Cleoirenes, who occupied it first, 

Escap'd untouch'd, but, breathing still with rage 

LaconianP, having given the arms to me. 

Departed with his very httle cloak, 290 

Sordid, unclean, unkempt, six years unwasli'd> 

Thus I besieg'd, while sleeping at the gates, 

That man, with his array of sixteen spears — 

And shall my presence not restrain these women, 

Foes to Euripides and all the gods. 

From such great daring ? may my trophy then 

Be ne'er erected in Tetraptolis'". 

But this remainder of my way is steep 

That to the wish'd-for citadel conducts ; 

And we must draw this load without an asa. 300 

Since these two wooden weights oppress my shoulder, 

Still must we travel on and blow the flame, 

Lest, on arriving at my journey's end, 

Th' extinguished fire escape my observation. 

Fough, what a smoke! — O sovereign Hercules, 

How, rising from the dish like a mad dog, 

It bites the eyes ! Sure, 'tis the Lemnian fire', 

Or never had its teeth thus gall'd my rheum. 

Haste to the citadel, and aid the goddess; 

For when shall we assist her more than now, 310 

O Laches? — fough, fough, out upon the smoke! 

P Aamiivitbv irviuiv. Tbii emphatic descriptloD of tbe fierce LacedtemoDian 
general, Cleomenes, who first poSBesBed himself of the citadel of Athens and after- 
wards of Eleusia, may either mean breitthing uiolence, or, more probahly, having B, 
mind attached to Laconian political seatiments — iaxvpiv 4 rd Aoicuii'ciiv ^pDvuv 
(Schol.) So ia the Birds (v. 1281.} iXaKiivo^avovv llnavrtt: dvBpvTroi rirc- 
compare also tho Wasps (v. 473, etc.) twaiif BpaaiSf. 

4 This is a plain allusion to the glorioas victory at Marathon ; see the Scholiast, 
and Musgrave's note on the Heraclidie of Euripides (v. 81.) Tetrapolis, orTetrap- 
tolis, was a region of Attica, containing the four cities (Enoe, i'robalathus, Tri- 
corinthus or Tricorjthus, and Marathon. 

' Of the several eip'anations given of this eipression the moat natural appears 
to he that which supposes it to allude (o ihs forges and furnaces of Vulcan 
ialatid of Lemnos (hodie Stalimene q. d., if ri'if Aiijivou), reduced by Mi 
under the power of Athens ; or it may simply denote a very Gerco fire — ai 
raw ffvvaiov (Schol.) 

les J 

74 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act ii. Sc. ii. 

'Tis thro' the gods this fire awakes and Uvea. 
Why not, then, having first laid down the beams. 
And plac'd within the jar our vine-twig torch, 
Light it, then burst the door with ram-Uke force ? 
And if the women loosen not the bolts 
At our command, then must we bum the doors, 
And overwhelm them with the fumigation* 
Now lay we down the load — fie, what strange smoke ! 
Which of the Samian generals will assist 3^0 

To bear our woody burdens'? they now cease 
Oppressing my back-bone : but 'tis thine office 
To wake the coal, O jar — and thou shalt bring me 
With all celerity a lighted torch. 
Queen Victory, assist— and let us raise 
A trophy o'er the present hardiness, 
That marks these women in the citadel. 
C.W.I seem, O women, to see soot and smoke. 

As of fire burning — we must hasten quickly. 
S.-C. 1. Fly, fly, Nicodice*, ere yet 330 

The flange to Calyce be set ; 

Ere round Critylla's head the fire. 

Blown by indignant laws, aspire. 

And the old men's destructive ire. 
S,-C. *Tis this I fear. — ^Am I a tardy aider ? 
2. For at the dawn of day I went to fill 

My pitcher at the fountain, labouring hard 

With crowd and tumult, rattling jars, and slaves 

Jostling, and by the flagrant scourge impress'd, 

I seize the urn, and bear my watery aid 340 

To the ignited women of my tribe ; 

■ This, according to the Scholiast, appealing to Didymus and Carteras, is a 
satirical allusion to the treachery of Phrynicus, son of Stratonides, who, in the 
twenty-first year of the war, headed the conspiracy in the army at Samos, ofiered 
to put all the forces into the Hands of Astyochus, and was assassinated soon after 
the appointment of Thrasybulus and Thrasyllus to the command, upon the re- 
establishment of democracy (see Thucydides, book viii. c. 51 — 92.) 

( Nicodice and Critylla are the names of women shut up in the citadel. The latter 
is also mentioned, with Theone the wife of Proteus, in the Thesmophoriazusse (vv. 
897, 8.) 

320-860.1 THE LYSISTRATA. 75 

For I have lieard that old disdainful men^ 
Laden with logs^ as if to heat a bath. 
Three talents' weight, went towards the citadel^ 
Threatening most dreadfully that they with fire 
Th' accursed race of women must destroy. 
Whom never may I see consum*d, O goddess. 
But saving Hellas with her citizens 
From war and all its desolating furies ; 

For this thy seats have they possessed, 350 

O goddess of the golden crest ; 

Thee I invoke, celestial maid. 

Bom near Tritonis' lake, to aid 

This town, should any man's rash hand 

Attempt to fire our female band; — 
Jointly by us be the full stream convey'd. 

Stratyllus, Chorus of Old Men, and of Old Women. 

Str. Cease ho ! — ^what tumult's this, O wicked wretches ? 

For good and pious men had ne'er thus acted. 
C. M* This deed comes unexpected to our sight. 

The female swarm is aiding at the doors. 360 

C.W. Why fear ye us ? — think you that we are many ? 

And yet ye see not our ten thousandth part. 
CM, O Phaedria, shall we suffer them to prate so? 

Must not one beat them till he break his staff? 
C.W. Let us, too, place our pitchers on the ground, 

That if a man against us lift his hand 

These may be no impediment. 
C. M. By Jove, 

Had any one struck their jaws twice or thrice. 

Like Bupalus', they would have had no voice". 

" 1. e. if any one had threatened to treat them lis Hipponax behaved to Bupalus; 
compare Horace, Epod. vi. 14. — 

Qualis Lycambs spretus infido gener, 
Aut acer hostis Bupalo. 

On which passage Doering observes—*' qualis iram suam effudit Hipponax in 

76 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act ii. Sc. ii. 

C.W.iio, here I stand — ^let any one assault me, 370 

ril show myself such that no other dog 

Can ever seize you. 
C. M. If you wont be silent. 

In killing you 111 pound my age to grains. 
C.W. Come, and but touch Stratyllis with a finger. 
CM. And what if I should maul her with my fists? 

What dreadful evil wilt thou do to me? 
C.W. I'll bite thy lungs, and tear thine entrails out. 
C. M. There is no poet than Euripides 

More wise, for there's no animal so shameless 

As woman. 
C. W. Let us, O Rhodippe, take 380 

Our water-pitcher. 
C. M. But on what account, 

O hated by the gods, art thou come hither. 

Bearing the water ? 
C.W. And why thou the fire, 

O neighbour to the tomb', as if about 

T' ignite thyself? 
CM. I, having rear'd a pile. 

Would set thy friends on fire. 
CW. And I would quench 

Thy flame with this. 
CM. Wilt thou my fire extinguish ? 

C W. The deed will quickly show you this. 
CM. I know not 

Whether to burn them with this lamp I hold. 
C W. If thou by chance art filthy, I will give 390 

A bath. 

Bupalum, quod is cum Anthenno Hipponactis imaginem foeditate insignem, deri- 
dendam circulis exposuerat (Plin. xxxvi. 5.) uterque autem Poeta» Archilochus 
quidem Lycamben, Hipponax vero Bupalum et Aathermum, iamborum suorum 
acerbitate ad rattim redigisse dicuntur." 

> & rifApi. So Euripides (Med. 1209.) rbv ykpovra rvfiPov which the Scholiast 
explains as I have translated this passage — 

rbv ir\fi<nov Oavdrov 6vTa, 
I'he French Translator renders the words very strangely — ** vied ichappi de 
VAohH^n** Compare the Ecclesiazusai (v. 905.), rfi Qavarif fikXtiiia' addressed 
by a youth to an old woman. Brunck*s translation is *' senex Acheruntice." 

870—400.] THE LYSISTRATA. 77 

CM. To me a bath, O dirty wretch? 

C. W. And that a nuptial one. 

CM. Hear you her boldness ? 

CW. It is that I am free. 

CM. I will restrain 

Thy present noise. 
CW. But thou wilt be no more 

A Heliastic judge. 
CM. Ignite her hair. 

C W. O Achelous, do thy work. 
CM. O me 

Unhappy ! 
CW. Was it warm ? 

CM. How, warm ? wilt thou 

Not cease ? what art thou doing ? 
CW. Watering thee. 

That thou may'st spring again. 
CM. But I am now 

All dry and trembling. 
CW. Then, since thou hast fire, 400 

It will be in thy power to warm thyself. 

Enter a Magistrate. 

Mao. Hath then the women's wantonness shone out — 
Frequent drum-beatings and Sabazian rites'; 
And on the roofs this weeping for Adonis, 
Which I so late in the assembly heard ? 
Demostratus^ (ill-fated may he perish !) 

' X& TVfiiravtffiibQ Xol irvKvol 2a/3a^to(. That is, according to the Scholiast, 
the orgies of Bacchus, ol Spyiaafioi tov 2aj3a^cov* so called from aapd^ttv, synonyo 
mous with eiaZuv, to shout, as was customary in the rites of this god. The weeping 
for Adonis, mentioned in the next line, {'Adioviatriibs) will remind the reader of the 
spectacle beheld by Ezekiel in the chambers of imagery, (chap. viiL 14.) women 
weeping for Tammut, i. e. Adonis (see the Vulgate, and Theodotian in V. L. ap. LXX. 
ed. Bos.) 

■ when by the vision led 

* His eye surveyed the dark idolatries 

Of alienated Judah. — (Milton, P. L. book i.) 

' This general was of the opposite party to Nicias, the great friend to Aristo- 

78 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act ii. Sc. ii. 

Advis'd the armament *gaihst Sicily ; 

But his wife, dancing, cries— "Ah! for Adonis!" 

Demostratus advis*d us to enrol 

The heavy-arm'd Zacynthian* soldiery ; 410 

But his inebriate wife upon the roof 

Told them to beat their bosoms for Adonis ; 

While the god's hate, that wretch Cholozyges, 

Was forc'd to raise his voice to a high strain, 

So loud and so indecent were their songs. 

CM. And what, if you should hear their insolence ? 

Who with their tongues revile, and from their pitchers 
Bathe us with such a stream, that we may shake 
Our reeking clothes, as if we'd wet ourselves. 

Mag. I swear, by Neptune, the marine, 'tis just** : 420 

For when ourselves in evil courses join 
With women, and in luxury instruct them. 
Counsels like these spring from them— then we speak 
After this fashion in the workmen's shops — 
" Goldsmith, that necklace, which thou hast prepar'd^ 
As my wife frolick'd in the evening dance, 
An acorn from its setting fell — for me, 
I am obliged to sail for Salamis ; 
But, if thou art at leisure, by all means 
At even come to her and reset the nut." 430 

Another to a shoemaker will say. 
Whose youth with more than boyish vigour glows — 
" O shoemaker, my wife's shoe-latchet pinches 

phanes, and proposed the sailing of the expedition to Sicily on the very day in 
which the Athenian women were celebrating the funeral rites of Adonis, which 
was regarded as ominous of ill success (see Plutarch in his life of Nicias, who, as 
Palmer observes, throws great light on this passage.) The phrase 6 fir^ iipcutri is 
very elliptica], and occurs again with some variation at v. 1037. dXXd fii^ &pa^ 
iKoivG^* — ^The Scholiast says that Demostratus, or, as he erroneously calls him, 
Phihttrattu, was called Bov^^vytjQ, and on account of his melancholy disposition 
Aristophanes gives him the sobriquet of XclKoZvytig. 

* Troops from the island of Zacynthus, now Zante, in alliance with the Athenians 

*> N^ rbv UoffuSa rbv oKvk^v, This epithet of Neptune the Scholiast inter- 
prets rbv OaXdaaiov, and says that some suppose it to be derived from Halyx, a 
city of Peloponnesus, where Neptune was particularly worshipped. The Ravenna 
Codex here reads a\vK&, which Invemizius rightly rejects. 

410—460.] THE LYSISTRATA. 

Her little foe, it is so delicate — 

Then come thou at mid-day and loosen it, 

That it may fit more widely." Such result 

Have I encounter'd from these accidents. 

1 being then a senator, whose care 

Is to supply the rowers with provision"; 

Now, when there is necessity for money, 440 

Am by tlie women shut out from the gates. 

But there's no profit in this standing still — 

Bring bars, that I may curb their insolence. 

Why gapest thou, O wretch ? engag'd in nought, 

But, turning toward the liquor-shop thine eyes I 

Will you not place your bars beneath the gates, • 

And heave them up ; on this side I'll heave with you. 

Lys. Stir nothing with your levers — for I come 
Out of my own accord : what need of bars ? 
They are not wanted more than mind and judgment. 

Mao. Is't true, O thou accursed? — where's the lictor? 451 
Seize her, and bind her hands behind her back. 

Lys. Nay, by Diana, if his hand but graze me, 
Although a public servant, he shall rue it. 

Mao. Art thou afraid ? will you not by the middle 
Seize her, and with his aid completely bind ? 

Str. I swear, by Pandrosos, if thou but lay 

A hand upon this woman, thou shalt walk 
In unclean terror. 

Mag. See thine unclean terror ! 

Where i* another archer ? Bind her first ; 460 

For she too is a prater. 

Lys. If to her 

Thou but apply a finger's point, I swear. 
By the light-bearing goddess, thou shalt soon 
Ask for a cupping-glass \ 

' The duty of supplying the naval foircei with theii provisian and equipmenla 
devolved upon llic trieracchi, and was deinomioBted rpir)fiapxiiv but the rebelliQus 
women iiDwoccupyiDgthecitadel.tbatduly was of necessity abandoned ; npofioiAos 
properly denotes a magistrate chosen in times of peculiar emergency, at first twenty 
in number, and after Ihe disastrous eipeiUlinn into Sicily more were appointed. 

'' tiaOov aiTrious T&xv. Meaning to saj that she would lo beat him with her 


80 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act ii. Sc. ii. 

Mag. What is all this ? 

Seize on this woman — I will stop the exit 

'Gainst any one of you. 
Str. If you approach her, 

I swear, by Tauric Dian, to pluck out 

Thy hairs, and cause thee bitter lamentation. 
Mag. Oh wretched me ! deserted by the archer. — 

But we by no means should submit to women. 470 

Let's go together in array against them, 

O Scythians. 
Lys. By the goddesses, ye then 

Shall know that on our side four female bands 

Are rang'd within all arm'd. 
Mao. Turn back their hands, 

O Scythians. 
Lys. Allied women, hither haste, 

Ye that sell seeds, eggs, potherbs, in the market*. 

Ye tavern-keepers, bread and garlic venders, 

Will ye not drag, nor strike, nor drive them off? 

Nor load them with reproaches and disgrace ? 

Leave off, retreat, despoil them not. 
Mag. Ah me, 480 

How badly has my archery succeeded ! 
Lys. But what was in thy thoughts ? — didst thou imagine 

That they were certain female slaves, 'gainst whom 

Thou camest, or that women have no gall? 
Mao. Much, by Apollo, if a vintner's near'. 

fists to the detriment of his eyes, as to render the application of a cupping-glass 

necessary in order to reduce the swelling occasioned by the blows. So in the 

Peace, v. 533, 4. — 


iLTTa^aTraffcu koI KvaBovg irpoffKtifitvai, 

* This and the next line are composed each of a word of thirteen syllables, headed 
by &• 

& ffiripfiayopaioXiKiOoXaxavovwXtdes' 

& tTKopoSoiravSoKtvTptapTowu>\tdtc* 
The former of these, as Fl. Christianus intimates, appears to glance at the mother 
of Euripides, who was a dealer in potherbs. 

' A satirical reflection upon the vinolent propensity of the Athenian females, 
who, if a vintner were at hand, would not fail to turn aside, and, when in liquor, to 
commence a drunken brawl. (Brunck.) 

470-610.] THE LYSISTRATA. 81 

CM. How many words thou spend'st in yain^ O thou this 
land's inspector ! 
Why on this parley enter now, with heasts like these 

to hector ? 
Hast thou forgotten in what bath they gave thy clothes 

And that without lixivium's aid, to cleanse them bj 
purgation ? 
C. W* It is not right, O wretch, to lay a hand upon thy neigh- 
bours ; 490 
For if thou do be sure our hand thy swollen eye be- 
labours : 
Since like a virgin would I sit in quiet meditation, 
Not causing any one to grieve, no straw to quit its sjUi- 

Provided none, like nests of wasps, shall give me pro- 
CM. O Jove, to what shall we apply 
Or use this monstrous progeny ? 
For these are deeds that may not be endur'd ; 
' But let us with united skill 
Explore the secret of their will. 
That has thy city, Cranaus, secur'd, 500 

The sacred grove, and tower rear'd on her pathless hilL 
But ask, nor be persuaded easily. 
Bringing forth all thy reasons : since 'twere base 
To suffer such a deed to pass unprov'd. 
Mag. This first I wish, by Jove, to hear from them. 

With what design clos'd you, and barr'd yourselves 
Within our citadel ? 
Lys. That we might keep 

The public money safe — nor ye fight for it. 
Mag. Fight we then for the money? 
Lys. Yes, and all 

Besides has been confounded ; for Pisander^ 510 

t According to the Scholiast, Pisander was set over the republic at Athens, to- 
gether withTheramenes and Phrynichus, and re-established the aristocratical govern- 
ment of four hundred tyrants, after the dissolution of the democracy, and removal 


82 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act ii. Sc. ii. 

And the aspirants after offices, 

That they might have wherewith to peculate. 

Were always stirring up some cry of war ; 

Then let them do whatever they desire ; 

For never shall they take away this treasure. 
Mao. But what wilt thou do ? 
Lys. Ask'st me this ? ourselves 

Will be its treasurers. 
Mag. You guard the money ? 

Lys. What thinkest thou so marvellous in this ? 

For are we not your wealth's domestic stewards ? 
Mao. But they are not the same. 

Lys. How not the same ? 520 

Mag. We must defray the war's expense from this. 
Lys. But first, there is no need to fight at all. 
Mag. How otherwise shall we exist in safety ? 
Lys. We will be your protection. 
Mag. You? 

Lys. Yes, we. 

Mag. That were unworthy. 
Lys. Thus shall you be sav'd, 

Although you wish^t not. 
Mag. a dreadful word ! 

Lys. Thou art enrag'd — still this must you effect. 
Mag. Unjust, by Ceres. 

Lys. Friend, we must be safe. 

Mag. Although I wish it not ? 
Lys. On that account 

So much the more. 
Mag. But whence this care of yours 530 

For war and peace ? 
Lys. We will declare it to you. 

Mag. Speak quickly then, that thou may'st not lament. 
Lys. Therefore attend, and strive to keep your hands off*. 
Mag. But I'm not able, since 'tis difficult 

For anger to restrain them. 

of Phrynichus and Scironides from Uieir command (Thucyd. viii. 54.) He was 
at length killed by Conon in a naval engagement, B. C. 394. 

520—560.] THE LYSISTRATA. 83 

Lys. Then slialt thou 

So much the more lament. 

Mag. Croak to yourself, 

Thou ancient hag, and speak to me. 

Lys. rildo't. 

; We in the former war and time have borne, 
With our accustom'd modesty, whate'er 
You men incline to do — not suffering us 540 

To mutter, which alone displeases us. 
But well we understood you — and ofttimes. 
Being within, have heard that you were plotting 
Some mighty deed against us — then possessed 
By inward grief, but with a smiling brow, 
We ask'd you what relating to the treaties 
Have you this day determined to inscribe 
Upon the pillar, 'mid th' assembled people ? 
"And how does this concern you?" says some man-— 
" Will you not hold your peace ?" Then I was silent. 

WoM.But ne'er would I have been so. 

Mag. Thou hadst rued it, 551 

If thou hadst not been silent. 

Lys. For that reason 

I held my tongue at home : then having heard 
Some more pernicious counsel on your parts. 
We would demand — " O husband, wherefore act 
So foolishly ?" but he, with look askance 
Having survey 'd me, straight replied — ** Unless 
You weave the warp, long will thy head lament it— 
But war shall be the care of men." 

Mag. By Jove, 

He spoke this rightly. 

Lys. Rightly ? how, O wretch, 560 

If we have not the license to advise 
Whenever you deliberate amiss ? 
But when we heard you plainly in the streets 
Declare, ** By Jove, there is no other man 
Now in the state," th' assembled women thought 
Greece by a common effort to preserve. 
For wherefore should we any longer wait ? 

84 THE EYSISTRATA. [Act ii. Sc. ii. 

If iheii y6u*d listen to us in your turn^ 

Andy listening to our words of useful import, 

Be silent like ourselves, we would erect 570 

Your former state again. 
Mao. Restore us ? ye ? 

Thou speak- st a strange thing, and, to me at least, 

Not to be borne. 
liiYs. Silence ! 

Mag, Shall I be silent 

For thee, who "bearest ori thy head a veil**? 

Sooner would I not live. 
Lys. But if this be 

A hindVance to thee, take and bind it round 

Thy head, and then be silent^ and this basket ; 

Then gird thyself, ckrd.wdol, and fe^don beans* ; . 

But war shall hehceferth be 'the.w6inen's care. 
C«W. Retreat^ O women, ifromyour pitchers, that 580 

We also may in: turn assist pur friends ; 

Since I with dancing never should be tir'd. 

Nor would fatigue my pliant knees assail. 

Our courage prompts us always to go on. 

With those who are possess'd of native grace. 

Boldness, and wisdom, patridtie lore, 

With prudence join'd : but oh', ^hou progeny 

'Of most courageous mothers, i^arp as nettles. 

Go with an ardeht tmrelenting mind, 

Eor still with favouring gale ye riin your course. 590 
Lys. But if §weet-minded.XK)ve and Aphrodite, 

The Cyprian queen, throughout your frame breathe love. 

^ In this small dialogue Lysistrata advises the tnagistrate ta take the veil from 
her head and place it on his own, that it may be no impediment to her free speech. 

' Kara ^alvtiv av^ioadfuvog, 
Kvdftovc Tpwyiav, 
These last words probably allude to the forensic disposition of the Athenians, and 
their love of judicial condemnations — &vri toQ diKai^siv (Schol.) So in the 
Knights (v. 41, 2.), Demosthenes distinguishes them by the epithets Kvafiorput^, 

570—610.] THE LYSISTRATA. 85 

I think that we hereiafter shall be call'd 

Lysimachm among the Greeks^ 
Mag. For what 

' Achievement ? 
Lys« If we hinder them with arms 

From traversing in furious mood the forum. 
WoM.'Tis so, by Paphian Venus, for they now 

Traverse all arm'd the herb and pitcher market, 600 

Like Corybantes^ 
Mao. True, by Jupiter ; 

For this becomes brave men. 
Lys. And yet it is 

A thing ridiculous, that any one 

Arm'd with a shield and gorgon should buy groundlings™. 
WoM.By Jove, I've seen a phylarch with long hair 

On horseback throw into his brazen casque 

An egg which he had stolen from an old woman ; 

While he from Thrace, shaking his dart and buckler 

Like any Tereus, frighten'd the fig-seller". 

And swallow'd the ripe fruit. 
Mao. But how shall ye 610 

Have power to stop the much-distracted course 

Of things, and to dissolve them in our coasts? 
Lys. Full easily. 

Mao. How ? show us. 

Lys. " As when thread 

^ Namely, as having put an end to the war — pugnarum diribitrices (Bergler) ; 
compare the Peace, v. 957. 

1 This name is also significant of war, being derived from Kopve, a helmet (Berg.) 
llie following chorus of women, especially the concluding part of it, which begins 

kOiXut ^ CTTl TCaV ISVCU fUT& T&V^ 

dptrrjc ^vex* <*^C 
Ivc ^v<riQ, ivi %apcc> f^* ^« ^'t 
contsdns an eloquent enumeration of the qualities which are essential to the com- 
position of a warlike character. 

°* }&Tav affjri^ ^Xfov fcai TopySva rtg Kfr dtviJTai KopaKivovg, See the note 
on the gorgon shield of Lamachus (Achar. ▼. 54.): icopaicTvoc denotes either a 
young raven or a fish of small account brought from the Black Sea. 

■> The shield called vkXra was particularly borne by the Thracians, of whom 
Tereus was king. On the word Spviriirs^e Fl. Chris, remarks, that under the name 
dpvbg is understood every kind of fruit, as well as tree. 

86 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act ii. Sc. ii. 

Be tangled in the spinning, thus we seize. 
And drag it on the spindles here and there ; 
Thus will we end this warfare, if permitted, 
Drawing it different ways thro' embassies. 

Mag. Think you, O foolish women, that from wool, 

Spun thread, and spindles, ye can make to cease 
This dreadful state of things ? 

Lys. If any sense 620 

Were in you, ye had managed all affairs 
As we our wool. 

Mag. How so ? Give me to know it. 

Lys. You ought at first, as in the bath we lave 

The fleece, that we may cleanse it from its dirt, 

With rods to drive bad subjects from the city, 

And gather out the thistles ; as for those 

Who mutually cohere and press each other 

To gain the magistracies, we must card them, 

And cleanse the heads from filth ; then in a basket 

Throw all, and comb them for the common good, 680 

Mingling the foreigners, your friends, and strangers"; 

And if there be a public creditbr,' 

To mix them altogether in the mass. 

The cities, too, by Jove, which from this land 

Are colonis'd, you must regard as wool 

That lies in separate locks : then from all these 

Collect one mighty ball, and weave thereof 

A tunic for the crowd. 

Mag. Is*t not then strange 

That they affairs like these sift and involve. 
Who take no part whatever in the war ? 640 

Lys. And yet, O all detestable, we bear 

More than a double charge therein, who first 
Gave birth to sons, and sent them forth to war. 

Mag. Keep silence, nor remind us of our woes. 

• KarafiiyvvvTag rovg r« fUToiKovQ* The fieroiKoi were such as left one city 
of Attica to settle in another, and paid annually a sum of twelve drachmas (about 
eight shillings of our money) , which was called rb fiiToixiov' a tribute which was 
also paid by manumitted slaves. Of these ukroucoi our author speaks very con- 
temptuously in the Acharnians (v. 482.), calling them the townsmen*s chaff. 

620^660.] -. THE LYSISTRATA: 87 

Lys. Then, too, when in our youth we may rejoice, 
The wars compel us to pass widow'd nights ; 
And passing by ourselves, yet for the damsels 
Who grow old in their chambers am I grieved. 

Mag. Grow men not old as well ? 

Lys. By Jupiter, 

The thing thou speakest of is not the same ; 650 

For the returning soldier, tho' he be 

Grey-headed, soon espouses a young girl. 

But short's the woman's opportunity. 

And if she seize not this no one is willing 

To wed her, but she sits watching her fate p. 

Mag. But he who still can act a manly part — 

Lys. Then wherefore diest thou not ? since it is 
To purchase thee a coffin : and thy cake 
Of honey I will knead. 

W. 4. Here, take this crown, 

And gird thee with it. 

W. 1. These receive from me. 660 

W. 2. Take, too, this chaplet. 

Lys. Where's the need ? what seek'st thou ? 

Go to the vessel, Charon summons thee. 
And thou delay' st his launch into the deep. 

Mag. Is it not dreadful that I suffer thus ? 

Nay, but, by Jove, I to the magistrates 
Will show myself, accoutred as I am. 

Lys. Blamest thou that we have not laid thee out ? 
But early in the dawn of the third day 
The three things requisite will come from us*". 

P -^— — orrevofuvri Sk KdOtirai* i. e. speculating upon the probabilities of 
her marriage — the Scholiast excellently says, dvri tov K\vdovii^oiJL6vri, irtpi ydfjLov 
XptlfffjtoSovfisvri. The interpretation of the French translator appears very strange, 
elle n*e$t bonne qu'a tirer des horoscopes. 

4 That is, according to Fl. Christianus, rd, rpia r&v tig Odvarov, because three 
kinds of death were proposed to the condemned, viz. the sword, the rope, and hem- 
lock. Bergler proposes to read rd 9pia, a plebeian term, for hrrd^ia, the funeral 
shroud. It is remarkable that Invernizius should object to Brunck's harmonious 
arrangement of the preceding line, d\k* kg rpirtiv ydvv ^fiepav cot irptfi irdvv, 
and give instead of it this rugged senarius, d\\* kg Tplrriv rr^v ywv rinkpav irp^ 

88 THE EYSISTRATA. [Act n. Sc. ii. 

CM. No longer let him sleep, whoe'er is free. 670 

But take we this affair in hand^ O friends ; 
For now methinks I smell more deeds and greater. 
Chiefly the tyranny of Hippias. 
And much I fear lest some of the Laconians, 
Who came together here from Clisthenes, 
Excite the women, hated by the gods, 
To seize our Wealth and pay, by which I liv'd. 
'Tis strange that such as these should now advise 
The citizens, aiid, women as they are. 
Prate to the brazen spear; with us besides 680 

Treat of the peace betweefn us and the ihen 
Of Lacedasmon, whose fidelity 
Vies with the gaping wolf — but these designs 
They weave, my friends, affecting sovereign power. 
Yet over me they shall not tyrannise ; 
Since I will be upon my guard, and bear 
The sword, henceforth hid in a myrtle-brancb, 
And in the forum, near Aristogiton**, 
Appear in arms — thus will I stand by him. 
While he enables me to strike the cheek 690 

Of this old Woman, hated by the gods, 

C W. When thou returnest home not she who bore 
Will recognise thee. — But, O dear companions, 
First let us place these things upon the ground ; 
For we, O all ye citizens, begin 
A speech thAt is of service to the state — 
And justly, too, for she hath nourish'd me 
In splendid luxury: since from the age 

iraw, Tlie old readh^ irpnii is evidently corrupt, as in Attic writing this word is 
never a dissyllable'. The third day is named, as on that the supper of the dead was 
laid out (Schol.) With this speech of Lysistrata, especially the words obxi wpov" 
Okfucdd as, the French translator aptly compares Persius Sat. iii. 103. 

Hinc tuba, candelae ; tandemque beatulus alto 
Compositus lecto, etc. 

as Fl. Christianus had done before him. 

^ i. e. near the column evected in honour of this illustrious heroj whose memory 
was so deservedly cherished by the Athenians. 


Of seven I bore the sacred mysteriea*. 

I was the grinder then^ : at ten years old 700 

I wore the flowing robe of safiron dye^ 

And^ like a she-bear, queen Diana's viotim. 

Was one in the Brauronian ceremonies % 

And bore the mystic basket when I waa 

A full grown girl, wearing a chain of figs« 

Ought'I then to advise well for the state ? 

Tho' I am born a woman, let not this 

Excite your jealousy, if I bring counsel 

The best of all for present circumstances. 

For in the common stock I have a share, 710 

Since men I introduce-^ut no concern 

In the sad aged citizens haVe you. 

By whom the contribution by your fathers 

Rais'd from the Median spoil, has been expended. 

eifOi>Q 4pp^^^pow» 
The Appfji^pia or ipeti^pia denote those sacrifices which were carried by the 
Athenian virgins in honour of Diana or Herse, the daughter of Cecrops, dwb rov 
&ftptiTa ipkpHv, from bearing mytteries. Under the title of *A(tpii^6poi Menander 
wrote a comedy, of which Walpole has given a short fragment (Com. Grsc. Frag, 
p. 32.) It appears from these passages that virgins of the most tender age were 
employed in these sacred ministeries (see Thucyd. vi. bQ,) 

' eZr dXcrptff ^ {&vti rov Hfiriv) virtipxov, as the Scholiast observes, who also 
informs us that these dXirpidtg were noble virgins consecrated to the goddess, 
whose office, like that of the Upoi fjtvX&vic, it was to grind the cakes used in the 
mysteries ; they were of noble birth, and the office was held in great honour : so 
V. 1193. bvorav r£ Qvyavfip rivl Kavri^pf, This further appears from the as- 
sertion of the leader of the female chorus in the next line, that at ten years old she 
wore a saffron robe (rbv KpoKiarbv), a distinction of high fomilies among the 
Greeks, as the hyaeinthina or ianthina Utna was with the Bomans (see Persiua Sat. 


" 'ApxfiyiTi . 

Karax^ovaa rbv KpoKurrbv dpKTOQ 4 BpavpiavioiQ, 

This alludes to the sacred rites established in honour of Diana, performed by virgins 
not younger than five nor older than ten years — who were said apKrevtiv or dtKcu* 
TtvHv — from the bear dpKTOQ, which was in a manner personated by one of the 
virgins about to be married, in commemoration either of the tame animal of that 
species, whose death by the brothers of a damsel whom he had killed provoked the 
vengeance of the goddess, or from the bear substituted for Iphigenia about to be 
sacrificed at Brauron, a town of Attica, as some affirm, instead of Aulis — (Bergler.) 
The gloss of the Scholiast upon 'Apxiyycrt is ry biairoivfi 'AprkfiiSu 

90 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act u. Sc. ii. 

Nor bring you any tribute in its stead. 

But we moreover are in jeopardy 

Of ruin at your hands. — Should you then mutter? 

But if in aught you're troublesome to me, 

I'll strike you on the cheek, with this hard buskin \ 
C. M. Are not these things a mighty insolence ? 720 

And yet methinks the affair will go on farther. 

But 'tis the part of each well-furnish'd man, 

The hazard to repel ; come, let us doff 

The tunic, since a man should scent of manhood, 

But 'tis not fitting that he be envelop'd ^. 
Then come we in our ancient might, 
Such as when trod Lipsydrium's height 
Our feet with wolf's-skin cover'd o'er ; 
Now be we as we were before, 
Let us our pristine youth resume, 730 

Deck all our frame with vigorous plume. 
And shake this aged burden to the tomb. 
For to these women e'er so small a handle 
Should any of us give, they will lack nothing 
Of handicraft assiduous; but will build 
Vessels, and fit a hostile fleet against us, 

* r^£ y* SLrj/riKTifi iraTo^at r^ KoBopvt^ ri^v yvdOoVt This epithet here may be 
considered synoDymous with CKkriptf xal SLjAaXaKTip, or it may denote soiled, un- 
wiped, from a privative and yj/rjKU} or ^j/dutf detergeo — the latter interpretation appears 
to be more suitable with a woman's buskin. (J. Seager, Palmer). 

7 kvTiOpi&ffOai. This word properly signifies, to be enveloped, as meats or other 
eatables, in fig leaves, (Opta). The Scholiast interprets the word by ivrervXixBai, 
IffKtvaffBai, or more correctly kvtffKtvdaOai (Bergler). Lipsydrium, mentioned 
in the neiLt line but one, was a mountainous district of Attica, above mount Parnes, 
named from the want of water, and fortified by the Alcmseonidae against the ty- 
ranny of the descendants of Pisistratus. They were denominated XvKojroStc, from 
the whiteness of their feet, probably covered with thongs made of wolfs leather, or 
from their shields bearing the insignia of a wolf — (Scholiast, confirmed by Photius, 
ad verb. \vK6irodac, who refers at length to this passage.) The old coryphaeus of 
the chorus, with characteristic sehile recollection, here addresses his companions 
as if they were formerly among the patriotic descendants of Alcmaion, and wishes to 
arouse their dormant energies to resist an attempt on the part of the women, incited 
by Lysistrata, to re-establish a tyranny as dangerous to the state as that of Hippias. 
Compare Anacreon, (Od. 31.5. ed. Barnes.) kfjtaiviT * AXxfiauav re Ktp XtvKO'Trovg 
*Ops<yrric. Eurip. Bacchse, 654. ol<rrpoi(n Xevkov kCUXov k^tiKovriffav, 

730—750.] THE LYSISTRATA. »1 

Like Artemisia'; but if they should turn 

To horsemanship, I straight cashier the knights. 
For woman is an animal that clings 
Most firmly to the horse ; nor when he runs 740 

Would she roll off; — survey the Afnazons, 
Whom Micon painted in equestrian fight • 
With men ; but it behov'd us to have seiz'd 
And fitted all their necks to the bor'd wood. 
C.W.Now, by the goddesses, if thou provoke me, 
I will let loose the fury of my nature **, 
And cause you, curried well, to call for aid 
Upon your fellow tribesmen ; but let us 
O women, likewise doff our female garb, 
And show incontinent our sex's rage ^ 750 

Now let some one approach to toe. 

That garlick may no longer be 

His food, nor beans of sable dye ^ ; 

And if thou but speak calumny, 

(Since swelling bile inflames my heart) 

ril act the midwife beetle's part. 
While thou, bereft, the eagle-mother art *. 
WoM.I care not for you, while my Lampito 

' Alluding to the statagem, quoted by Fl. Christianus from Vitruvius, by which 
Artemisia, queen of Caria> effected the capture of Rhodes, by means of some Rho- 
dian vessels which she had taken in her own port. 

* This was the celebrated picture with which Micon, or as the Scholiast calls 
him, Mecon, son of Phranicus, an Athenian, adorned the poecile or picture gallery at 
Athens. The true reading here, iypa\j/' k(p' "iinriaVi is much corrupted in several 
of the editions, some giving iypa^iv, contrary to the metre, and others iypaype 

•» Xvffw TT^v IjJLavTrjQ iv eyut 3rj. That is, all the native fierceness of my dispo- 
sition — ri)v ^vffiv Xlyfi, ti^v Apyrjv (Schol.) 

* nig dv o^wfitv yvvaiK&v airodd^ Cjpyurfieviav, i. e. irapaxprina or irdvv, as 
the Scholiast here interprets the word. Brunck's version is ut oleamus fxmiiuu 
pertinaciter iratas. 

^ firfdi Kvdfiovg fieXavag. That is, according to the interpretation of the Scho- 
liast, that he may not any longer exercise the functions of a judge — iVa firj ducday. 
So Demos, the personification of the Athenian people, is called KvafiorpM^, {the 
Knights, V. 41.) on account of his fondness for litigation, especially for pro- 
nouncing the sentence of judicial condemnation. 

c Alluding to the fable of the beetle devouring the eggs of the eagle. See the 
Peace, (v. 129, etc.) where the same fable is referred to by Trygsus. 

9» THE LYSISTRATA, [Act hi. Sc. i- 

Survives, and the dear noble Theban maid 

Ismenia^ for. no power will e-er be tbine» 760 

Not if thou wert to publish seven decrees^ 

Who art^ O wretch, hated by all .mankind. 

Even l>y. thy neighbours : so that yesterday. 

When I to Hecate was celebrating 

The joyous feast, out of the vicinage 

I caird. an honest maid, lov*d by the children, 

An eel of the Boeotian lake ^, but they 

Reius'd to send her, sway'd by thy decrees; 

And yet you will not cease from uttering them^ 

Ere some one seiz^ thy. legs and break thy neck. 770 


Chorus o/* Women, Lysistrata. 

C.W.O leader of this deed and high design ^^ 

Why with ao sad a brow com'st from the house ? 

Lys. The coward women's deeds and, female mind 
Make me walk thus dejected up and dpwn. 

C. W. What say'st ?— what say'st thou ? 

Lys. *Tis the truth, the truth. 

C.W.But wb^t is tibk so sad? inform thy friends^ 

Lys. *Ti« base to sjpe&k and grievous to be silent. 

C.W.The ill that weVe endur'd how hide not ftoih me. 

Lys« To speak in brief, our passions conquer us. 


Lys. Why call on Jove ? the thing is so 780 

No longer from their consorts can I keep them— 
For they desert — the first I apprehended 
Cleansing the entrance where Pan's cavern lies ; 
Another creeping by a windlasfs down, 

' This 18 said ib a sportive mood; rrapA irpoffdoKtav, (Schol.) The emenda- 
tioa of Bisetus {AyantiTriv for KajiwriTi^v) adds much to the for^e of the passage. 

f These lines are addressed, by the chorus of women, to Lysiaftrata, whom they 
see coming from the citadel, with a dejected and sorrowful countenance, on account 
of the failure of her design on the women. According to the Scholiast, the queS' 
tion of the chorus is parodied from the Telephus of Euripideis, (Fragment zv. ap. 

760—800.] THE LYSISTRATA. 

With serpent pace ; another who deserted, 

And one whomtneditafing how tx> fly 

Upon a sparrow to Orsilocfaus, 

I yesterday dragg'd downwards by the hair : 

And thus they weave all manner of excuses 

For going home — and one of them now comes : 790 

Enter a Woman. 

Ho ! whither runnest thou? 
WoM. I would go home, 

For there my fleeces of; Miletus are 

Entirely eaten up by moths. 

Lys. What moths ? 

Wilt thou, not turn back ? 
WoM. By thQ.god^^sesy 

But I will quickly come, soon as I spread 

Upon the couch — 
Lys. Spread not, nor»go at all. 

WoM.But shall I silver that n^y fleeces perish ? 
Lys. If it must be so. 

Enter a secondWoMA^. 

W. 2. Wretch^, wretched m^ ! 

For my^ fine linen which live left at home 

Lys. ^Here is another who comes out 800 

For her fine linen which has i^ot been bark'd. 
W. 2.But by plana, straight will I rqturn 

When lihave barh'dit. 
Lys. Do not, do not bark it, 

For if thou should'st begin, another woman 

Will wish to do .the same. 

{25 lines omitted.'] 

* * # « # 


But, O good ;firiends, resist, and patiently 
Sustain your^woes, at least a little time — 

94 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act ni. Sc. i. 

Since by an oracle it is declared 

That we shall victors prove, if no division 

Prevail among us : this is the decree. 

C.W. Tell us what it declares. 

Lys. Be silent then. 


"But soon as swallows in one place shall cower "^ 

Avoiding phallic rites and Epop's power ; 

Evils will have a pause, and thundering Jove 

AH that was once beneath shall place above" — 840 

C.W. What, shall we women have the upper hand ? 

Lys. " But if the swallows fond of discord prove, 

And swift-wing'd from the sacred fane remove. 

Henceforth no bird will seem more prone to love." 

Clear is the oracle by Jupiter — 

O all ye gods, let us not now despair, 

Sunk in dejection — enter — for 'twere base, 

O dearest friends, to thwart the oracle. 

C. M. To you I would address a word 

Which erst while yet a boy I heard ; 85^ 

A certain youth Melanion hight *, 
When flying from the nuptial rite. 

^ Bergler imagines, with great probability/ that Aristophanes had before his 
eyes the oracle mentioned by Herodotus, (Erato, xxxvii.) as having been delivered 
by the Pythia to the Argives and Milesians — ^which runs thus — 

dSiXX' ^rav ri BifKiia rbv dpetva vucriffavra 
l^tXday Kai Kvdog kv *Apyeioi<nv dptirai. 

* This young man appears to have been another Hippolytus, both in regard to 
his passion for the chase, and his aversion to female society. This choral song of 
the old men is well answered by the women, who in their turn recite the story of 
the misanthropic and solitary Timon, who, in the emphatic language of Aristo- 
phanes, was a very *Epivvtitv diroftpia^. The oracular response is thus translated 

by Beloe. 

When female hands the strength of man shall tame. 

And among Argives gain a glorious name ; 

Women of Argos shall much grief display. 

And then shall one in future ages say, 

" A serpent huge which writhed its body round, 

From a keen sword received a mortal wound." 

Compare Lycophron, quoted by Fl. Chr., r^v ^w^XiyTrrav aivhti xe>^i?6va. 

810-880.] THE LYSISTRATA. 95 

Came to the desert's dark retreat, 
And on the mountains fix*d his seat. 
Then weaving the deceitful snare, 
He with one dog pursued the hare. 
And kept by hatred from his home, 
Backward no longer would he roam, 
Such his aversion to the fair ; 
And them with no inferior hate . 860 

We, as Melanion wise, abominate. 
O.M. A l^iss, old woman, I would beg — 
WoM.On onion thou'rt not wont to dine — 
O.M. And kick thee with extended leg — 
WoM.A dense and bushy beard is thine. 
O.M. Rough, too, Myronides was there. 
And blackened with posterior hair 
A hostile object to his foes, - 
Phormio was likewise one of those ^. 
C.W.I also would relate a tale 870 

To counterpoise Melanion's scale. 
One Timon liv'd in days of yore, 
Whose face, with thorns all cover'd o'er, 
Kept wanderers from, approaching nigh, 
A very furies' progeny. 
Then Timon far from mortals fled. 
By bitter detestation led, 

And many a curse invoked upon their impious head. 
So this your friend to wicked men was mov'd 
By hatred, but by women dearly lov'd. 880 

Wilt thou I strike thy chfeek ?— 
O.M. Not so ; 

And yet I tremble at the blow. 

« « * # # 

Omitted from Une 828 to line 1215. 

« # « « # 

^ The celebrated Athenian general mentioned by the chorus in the Knights, 
(v. 560.) on which passage see the note. 

96 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act ni. Sc. i. 

Enter a Market Hauntbr, aȣ? a Valet. 

M.H. Open the door V 1040 

Val. Wilt thou not hence ? and wherefore sit you here ? 

Shall I with this lamp bum you ?— troublesome 

This station is — 
M.H. I cannot do't . 

Val. BuMf 

You needs must act thus, we will gratify you. 

And bear it patiently. 
M.H. We too will bear it 

Like you with patience. 
Val. Will you^ not depart ? 

Long shall your hairs lament it— Will you not 

Depart^ that the Laconians may go J^ome 

In quiet, having feasted well withm ? 

An Athenian entering Jirqm. the JFi^ftst. 

Ath, I never yet saw such an entertainment : 1050 

Truly facetious the Laconians were, 
And we exceeding prudent Jn our cups. 

CM. 'Tis right — for we tho* sober j are not well: 
I will persuade the Athenians^ by my reasons. 
That we discharge our embassies when drunk. 
In every time and place : for now, whene'er 
We come to Lacedaemon, straight we look 
For what we shall be able to disturb ; 
So that we know not what they say, and that 
Which they forbear to utter, we suspect, 1060 

Nor of the same things make the same report ; 
But now all subjects are agreeable. 
So that if any one should sing the Scolium" 

* This conftnand is given to the slave who guards the door, by some one desirous 
to enter into the banquet 

■> It was customary to sing, in convivial entertainments, a song of which the 
subject was Ajaz, son of Telamon. Clitagora was a poetess, mentioned in the 
Wa$pt, V. 1238., whose verses were also recited during their feasts. Athenasus, in 

1040-1080.] THE LYSISTRATA. 97 

Of Telamon, when it was right to chant 

Clitagoras, we had commended him, 

And to our praises added perjury. 
Val. But to these men a second time come hither. 

Will you not hence, O subjects for the lash ? 
M.H. 'Tis so, by Jove, and now they issue forth. 

Enter from the Feast, the LACEDiEMONiAN Ambassadors, 
A Player on the Flute, and a second Athenian, 

Amb. Take thou the flute, O Polycharides ^ 1070 

That we may dance and sing a pleasant strain 
To honour both th' Athenians and ourselves. 
Ath. Then take the flutes, I pray thee by the gods. 
Since it is my delight to see you dance. 
Come, O Mnemosyne, inspire** 
My muse with all the youthful choir; 
For well she knows the song to raise 
In ours and in th' Athenians' praise. 
When they at Artemisium's height 
Rush'd forward like the gods in fight, 1080 

And turn'd the Melian ships to flight. 

his Beipoosophistffi has preserved the opening of several of these Scholia, and 
among others that of Telamon. 

** According to Brunclc, Polycharides, in this line, is not to he understood as a 
proper name, hut an epithet of endearment used hy the Lacedsmonians, and here 
applied to the hoy who had accompanied the ambassador as he comes from the 
hanquet. The learned critic, however, in his translation renders the word, O 
Polycharida, The French translator solves the ambiguity hy omitting the name as 
well as the poetical epithet, (if it' be merely such,) and rendering the words 
vaguely, " si quelqu' ua chantoit la Scholie de Telamon au lieu de celle de Cli- 

o This choral hymn of the Lacedaemonian ambassadors presents a cujious speci- 
men of the broad Doric dialect — 'Spfiaov, i. e. '6pfjta oi^v, Fl. Chr., rather for 
opfiatrov or 'opfiriffovt Bergler : 

Tbjg KVpcTaviwg <J Mvafiova 

riiv redv fjiuav, Utiq 

oUev dfifie Tb}Q T 'Affaviutg, k*. r. X. 

especially when contrasted with the pure Attic of the chorus of Athenians, begin- 
ning at V. 1279. 

irpotrays x^P^^* tTraye xdpirag, 
VOL. IL \^^ 

98 THE LYSISTRATA. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

Leonidas our forces led 

With teeth as boars' well sharpened, 

While foam bedew'd, like some white flower. 

Their cheeks and legs with many a shower: 

For not inferior to the sand 

In numbers were the Persian band. 

Diana, thou who tak'st delight 

To slay the beasts in sylvan fight. 

Come hither ; virgin goddess lend 1090 

Thine aid our treaty to defend 

And to all distant time extend ; 

Now let our friendship firm remain, 
- -Cemented by the compact's chain, 

And from the crafty foxes' art 

Henceforth, my friends, let us depart. 
Hither thy steps, O huntress virgin, bend — 
Lys. Come now, since all the rest has been well done. 
These women, O Laconians, bear away, 
You (Athenians) these, and let the husband near his 
wife 1100 

Remain, the wife stand by her husband — then 
Having by dances to the gods declar'd 
That we are thankful for this good success, 
Abstain we cautiously from future sin. 
C. A. Lead on the choir, conduct the graces, call 
Diana too, and her twin healing brother, 
The willing leader of the band : and him. 
From Nysa call'd, who sports with glowing eyes 
Among the Maenad Bacchanalian train ; 
And Jove who burns with flaming majesty; 1110 

Likewise his blessed venerable spouse ; 
Then summon the divinities, whom we 
As not unmindful witnesses invoke 
Of that firm quiet which the Cyprian goddess 
Hath made — shout lo paean, alalai, 
And raise yourselves aloft, as after conquest — 

Evoi, Evoi, eu, eu! Laconian 

Exhibit thy new song to answer mine. 
C. L. Desert thine amiable Taygetus, 

1090—1130.] THE LYSISTRATA. 99 

Laconian Muse, and come to celebrate 1120 

Our god rever'd, who o'er Amyclse reigns ; 

Minerva worshipped in her brazen fane p. 

And the brave sons of Tyndarus, who near 

Eurota's stream disport, come with light step, 

That Sparta's praise we may in hymns resound. 

Who makes the choirs of gods and sound of feet 

Her care — while virgins near Eurota's wave 

With light and rapid step like foals move on ; 

Like Bacchanals in sportive state 

Thyrsus and hair they agitate. 1130 

While Leda's progeny, chaste maid. 

First in the choir her form display'd. 

But come, your hair with fillets bind. 

Stirring your feet like any hind ; 

And at the same time make a sound 

So useful in the chorus found. 

Hymning her power to whom the brazen fane 

Is rear'd, most warlike of the goddess train! 

P rdv xakKiotKov 'Acdvav ('AOripav). Minerfa received this epithet from the 
Spartans, either from having a brazen temple there, or because her fane was built 
by the Chalcidians. So Com. Nepos, in his Life of Pausanias, ad fin., says, that 
this Athenian general took refuge in the temple of Minerva, qux Chalciocoi vacatur, 
see the note of the Delphin editor, who quotes Suidas's explanation of the word. 
Perhaps Cornelius Nepos alludes to this passage of Arbtophanes. The French 
translator designates the goddess by a strange description, *' Minerve du visage 
basani§." . 





DICJEOPOLIS, the just Citizen. 



AMBASSADORS sent from Athens to the Persian king. 

PSEUD ARTABAS and Eunuchs with him. 





CEPHISOPHON, Valet of Euripides 












Several mute Personages. 

Scene — Athens^ in the middle of the Pnyx 


* An open place, not far from the citadei of Athens, where the general assem^ 
blies of the people were held, as well as in the market place, and in the theatre of 
Bacchus. These assemblies were either ordinary or extraordinary, to the former 
of which the people convoked themselves in one of the above-mentioned parts of 
the City, and to the latter they were summoned by a magistrate, who assigned the 
place of meeting. 

In the opening of the second act of this Comedy, the scene liefr, for a short time, 
IB the borough of Dicsopolit. 





'' DiciEOFOLis, the honest citizen, enraged at the false pretexts with 
which the people are put ofF, and all terms of peace thwarted, sends 
an emhassy to Lacedaemon, and concludes a separate peace for him-> 
self and his family. Now he returns into the country, and, in spite 
of all disturhances, makes an enclosure hefore his house, within which 
there is peace and free market for the neighbouring people, while the 
rest of the country is harassed by the war. The blessings of peace 
are exhibited in the most palpable manner for hungry maws : the fat 
Boeotian brings his eels and poultry for barter, and nothing is thought 
of but feasting and revelling. Lamachus, the famous general, who 
lives on the other side, is summoned, by a sudden attack of the 
enemy, to the defence of the frontier ; while Dicaeopolis is invited 
by his neighbours to a feast, to which each brings his contribution. 
The preparations for arms, and those in the kitchen, now go on i^th 
equal diligence and despatch on both sides : Lamachus shortly re- 
turns with broken head and crippled foot, supported by two com- 
rades ; on the other side, Dicaeopolis drunk, and led by two good- 
natured damsels. The lamentations of the one are continually 
mimicked and derided by the exultations of the other, and with this 
contrast, which is carried to the very highest point, the play ends." — 
Theatre of the Greeks, p. 358. Ed. 3. 



Enter DiCiEOPOLis alone. 

Die. How is my heart torn with its many cares! 
While I am charm'd by four or fewer joys, 
Afflictions Uke th* innumerable sands* 
Are heap*d by thousands on me : let me see 
What joyous delectation has been mine ? 
I know the sight that most rejoic'd my soul — 
Those talents five which Cleon vomited**. 
How this delights me ! — how I love the Knights ! 
For this their jict, 'tis worthy of all Greece. 
Again my tragic fortune I deplor'd ; 1 

When waiting open-mouth'd for iEschylus, 
He cried — "Theognis, bring the chorus on*^." 

^ Aristophanes here makes use of one of his compound words, rl/afifiaKocwydp' 
yapa* the former part of which, according to Macrobius (Saturnal. v. 20.), Varro 
(in Menippeis) frequently made use of to denote a great number ; and of the ter- 
mination he observes — ** Aristophanes adjecit Gargara, ad significationem nu- 
merositatis innumers." The Scholiast cites Eupolis, Sophron, and Aristomenes, as 
using the same word to signify a multitude, e. g. Mov ydp rifiiv ydpyapa, 

b This alludes to a mulct, which, according to Theoporopus, cited by the Scho- 
liast, was imposed by the knights on the mercenary Cleon, who had exacted that 
sum from the inhabitants of the islands in subjection to the Athenians, and was 
afterwards compelled to make restitution. The strong word k^rifieffiv, by which 
Aristophanes expresses this compelled requital^ is repeated, in allusion to the 
same act of peculation, in the Knights (v. 1145.) 

^ He, i.e. the herald, who makes a proclamation to the people at ?. 43. By Theognis, 
who is here required to bring his chorus on the stage, is not meant the poet of Me- 
gara, whose elegiac sentences have been preserved, but a cold and indifferent tragic 
poet, who is again mentioned at v. 139, as well as in the Thesmoph. v. 170. The 
Scholiast, after Chion, calls him one of the thirty tyrants. 

106 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act i. Sc. i. 

How^stirr'd my heart at this, supposest thou! 

But for another cause I was delighted — 

When erst Dexitheus, striving for the calf**. 

Came in to warble his Boeotian air. 

Whereas this year with a distorted neck 

I almost died to see how Chasris stoop*d, 

Preparing for his Orthian melody*. 

But never, since I took to cleanliness, 20 

Were thus my eye-brows by the dye annoy'd. 

As now when the supreme assembly hold 

Their morning session in deserted Pnyx. 

While praters in the forum up and down 

Fly to avoid the ruddle-coloui'd rope^ 

And when full late the Prytanees arrive. 

How think you they will rush against each other. 

Pressing tumultuous on for the first seat ? 

Reckless whence peace shall come. — O city, city ! 

Always arriving first at the assembly, 30 

I sit me down, and, being there alone, 

I sigh and yawn, stretch out and ease myself. 

And, doubting what to do, write on the ground. 

Pluck out loose hairs, or make my computations. 

Looking upon the fields, eager for peace, 

Hating the town, regretful of my burgh, 

Who never said to me — " go, purchase coals. 

Nor vinegar, nor oil" — but/ it knew not. 

Bringing all things itself— that cutting word^ 

^ Dexitheus, as the Scholiast informs us, was an excellent harper, who conquered 
at the Pythian games, and carried off a calf (fidtrxov^ as the prize of his victory : 
although the same Scholiast affirms Moschus to have been an indifferent musician 
of Agrigentum — but this notion is, I think, justly derided by Brunck and Elmsley 
(see Bentley on Phalaris, p. 170.), who states that as a bull was the prize for dithy- 
rambic poetry, so the victorious harper was rewarded by a calf. 

® A particular and animated air on the flute, to be played by Chaeris, a wretched 
musician. The Scholiast quotes the word as being also used by Homer, in his 
Hymn to Mercury (v. 143.) See below, v. 830. 

f t6 (rxotviov ifuvyovm rb fiefuXnofiivov* This formidable rope was made use 
of, as the Scholiast informs us, from Plato, the comic writer, by two officers, in 
order to compel the tardy citizens to enter the assembly ; and those who were 
marked by it, when stretched at its full length, were compelled to pay a fine. 

f A play upon the words Trpiio, buy, and Trpiutv, a saw — as if he had said, * there 

20—50.] THE ACHARNIANS. 107 

Was absent — wherefore clearly now I come, 40 

Prepared to shout and blame those orators. 

Who talk on any other theme than peace. 

But see these Prytanees arriv'd at noon — 

Said I not so ? — 'tis just as I declared. 

How every man shoves on to the first seat! 

SCENE 11. 

Enter Herald, Amphitheus, Ambassadors. 

Her. Come forward, come — that ye may be within 
The space that's purified^. 

Amp. Hath any spoke ? 

Her. Who wishes to harangue ? 

Amp. I. 

Her. Who art thou ? 

Amp. Amphitheus. 

Her. Not a man ? 

Amp. No, an immortaP : 

For sprung from Ceres and Triptolemus, 50 

Amphitheus comes, and Celeus was his son ; 

He weds my grandmother, Phaenarete, 

From whom Lycinus — and immortal I 

His offspring am.— To me alone the god» 

Gave it in charge to enter into treaty 

With Lacedaemon's sons — but I, my friends, 

Immortal though I be, have no support ; 

For nothing give the Prytanees. 

was no one to cut and torment my mind by continually exhorting me to buy, for I 
had all things at home.' — Brunck and Bergler. 
A ^ We are informed by the Scholiast that it was customary with the Athenians to 
slay a hog, and sprinkle its blood over the seats o( the assembly, for a solemn puri- 
fication : this was called KuOapfia, and the purifier xaOapTng* in the Ecclesiazuss 
(v. 128.) he is named 6 iripKfTiapxoQ. 

' The account which Amphitheus here gives of his divine parentage is doubtless 
intended as a sarcasm on Euripides, whom our poet omits no opportunity of turning 
into ridicule, especially for his mythological tales in the openings of his plays. In 
the present instance he parodies the beginning of the Iphigenia in Tauris, which 
relates the adventures of Pelops, the son of Tantalus. 

108 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act i. Sc. ii. 

Pry. Ho, archers. 

Amp. O thou, Triptolemus, and Celeus too, 

Will you thus slight me ? [He is dragged off. 

Die. , O ye Prytanees, 60 

Th' assembly you dishonour, leading off 

The man who wish'd to make a truce for us, 

And hang the bucklers up. 
Her. Sit, and keep silence. 

Die. That, by Apollo, will I not, unless 

You purpose to deliberate of peace. 
Her. Approach, ambassadors sent to the king. 
Die. What king ? I'm weary of ambassadors. 

With all their peacocks and their vain displays'". 
Her. Hist ! 

Die. O Ecbatana, how strange the dresses ! 

Amb. You have deputed us to the great king, 70 

Bearing for recompense two daily drachmas, 

Euthymenes then archon. 
Die. Ah! the drachmae! 

Amb. Spent with our march thro' the Caystrian plains, 

Shrouded in tents> we wandered on our way, 

Stretch'd softly at full length upon the cars^ 

Worn out by trouble. 

^ The peacock was so rare a bird at Athens in the time of Aristophanes, that 
public exhibitions of them were made to the people every new moon. 

* €0' apfjLafia^&v fjia\9aK&g KaraKtifievoi. Kuster, by proposing to read oi fia- 
XaK&g, would divest this truly humorous passage of all its comic power, which 
consists in the exaggerated description of the fatigues sustained by the ambassadors. 
I cannot but think that Moliere had this amusing scene in his mind when he wrote 
the description which he puts into the mouth of Scapin, of the hardships endured on 
board of the Turkish galley, " ou nous avous mangi des fruits les plus excellens 
qui se puissent voir, et bu du vin que nous avous trum6 le miulleur du monde'* 
(Les Fourberies de Scapin, Act iii. Sc. 11.) This appears to me as evident as it 
did to Brunck, that the grammatical and philosophical dialogue between Socrates 
and Strepsiades in the Clmtds, beginning at v. 624, furnished the French Aristo- 
phanes with the hint of one of the most amusing scenes of his Bourgeois Gentil- 
homme, in which play the character of Mons. Jourdain appears to be modelled after 
that of Strepsiades. ArisCophanes supposes that a period of eleven years was con- 
sumed in this embassy to the great king — Euthymenes having been archon in the 
fourth year of the Ixxxv. Olympiad, and this comedy represented in the third year 
of the Ixxxviii., according to Brunck and Elmsley. 

60—100.] THE ACHARNIANS. 109 

Die. Well I far'd meanwhile, 

Propp'd on my couch of straw. 
Amb. Then entertained 

With hospitality, we drank perforce 

From cups of gold and crystal, sweet pure wine. 
Die. O town of Cranaus, perceivest thou 80 

The ridicule of these ambassadors ? 
Amb. For the barbarians think those only men 

Who have the greatest power to eat and drink. 
Die. And we but libertines and debauchees. 
Amb. In the fourth year we reach'd the royal court. 

But he had ta'en his army, and gone off 

To ease himself; and eight continuous months 

Was so engag'd upon the golden hills "*. 
Die. And how long was he getting right again ? 
Amb. For one full moon — then homeward he return'd, 90 

Receiv'd as guests, and plac'd before us oxen 

Whole from the oven. 
Die. And who ever saw 

Whole oven-roasted oxen?— O the flam ! 
Amb. Nay, and, by Jove, he plac'd a bird before us 

Three times as lusty as Cleonymus, 

And named impostor. 
Die. 'Twas an imposition 

You practis'd upon us with your two drachmae. 
Amb. And now we come, bringing Pseudartabas, 

The sovereign's eye. 
Die. O that a crow would pluck 

Thine out, ambassador ! 
Her. Thou sovereign's eye, 100 

Come forth. 
Die. King Hercules ! by the gods, man. 

Are thy regards tum'd on the naval station, 

Or bent to track some winding promontory ? 

» A satirical allusion, according to the Scholiast, to the story of Xerxes having 
sat under a golden plane tree, when he marshalled his troops for the expedition 
into Greece. The golden mountains of the Persians passed into a proverb, mentioned 
also by Plautus (Stich. i. 1. 25), in allusion probably to this passage of Aristo- 

110 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act i. Sc. ii. 

That thus thine eye thou keepest, like an oar 

Bound in its leathern case ? 
Amb. Come, tell us now. 

What did the king commission you to say 

To the Athenians, Pseudartabas ? 
PsE. lartaman exark' anapissontai satra°. 
Amb. Know ye his meaning ? 
Die. By Apollo, No. 

Amb. He tells you that the king will send you gold. 110 

Declare it clearly now, with louder voice. 
PsE. Thou shalt not take the gold, debauch*d Athenian. 
Die. O wretched me ! how clearly now he speaks ! 
Amb. What says he ? 
Die, What? this name he gives th' Athenians, 

Because they're gaping for barbaric gold. 
Amb. Not so — ^but he speaks of the gold by bushels. 
Die. What bushels ? truly, thou art a great boaster. 

But go, and I will question him alone. 

Come now, attend to me, and tell me truly. 

Lest that I tinge thee with the Siardian dye®: 1^0 

Gold will the mighty monarch send us back ? 

[Pseudartabas ^Aa^^« his head. 

Then are we cheated by the ambassadors ? 

[He nods assent. 

" The uncouth words comprising this verse have been variously interpreted — 
M. Anquetil, in the M^moires de VAeadetnie des Inscriptions et Belles Lettres, de- 
clares the sense of them to be 'Money shall be brought to us on the part of the 
king.' Hotibius, hofweyer, with ft^r er^er pro^^ility, renders the line into Greek 
thus : lytef IBpft fAf^v^dipi,* Hkinrrwy cat <7a9p2r the metaphor being taken from 
a vessel, about to have her rotten timbers calked or covered again with pitch : we 
may remark the imperfect pronunciation by Pseudartabas of the Greek B, that shibm 
boUth of barbarians, like the English th to -foreigners at the present day, as the 
Scythian archer, in the Thesmophoriazuss, confounds the tt and 0. — In v. 104. the 
word Athenian is expressed by 'loovov* the Greeks in general being, according to 
the Scholiast, distinguished by the name of lonians. Homer (II. N'. 685.) de- 
scribes the Athenians as -Idovag iXxtx^Totvac. See Herodotus (Urania, zlviii.) 

<* i. e. lest I make thee appear all covered with blood and wounds from the 
operation of the scourge. Doubtless, the true reading here is ^apdiaviiebv, and 
not XapdivtaKbv since in the time of Aristophanes there was little intercourse be- 
tween the Athenians and Sardinians ; whereas Sardis and Thyatira were celebrated 
for the excellence of their purple dye (see Acts xvi. 14.) : jSafifui XapdtaviKbv is 
also mentioned in the Peace (v. 1140.) 

1 10—150.] THE ACHARNIANS. 1 1 1 

These men declare assent by Grecian nods^ 
And from our city must perforce be sprung ; 
One of the eunuchs I well recognise — 
'Tis Clisthenesy Sibyrtius' progeny, 
Inventor of the crafty fundament ; 
With such a beard, com'st thou to us, O ape, 
To counterfeit the eunuch ? And this other. 
Is it not Strato ? 

Her. Silence, and sit down. 130 

The council to the Prytan6um calls 
The sovereign's eye. [Exit Pseudartabas. 

Die. Won't this a halter bring ? 

Yet here I straitly am compell'd to stay. 
While the door ne'er restrains such guests as these. 
But I will do some great and dreadful deed. 
Where is Amphitheus ? 

Amb. Behold, he's here. 

Die. From me take these eight drachmas, and conclude 
A treaty with the Spartans for myself. 
My wife, and family — while you confer 
With your ambassadors, and gape at will. 140 

Her. Approach, Theorus, from Sitalces^. 

The. Here. 

Die. Another braggart have we here announc'd. 

The. We had not been so long a time in Thrace — 

Die. Hadst thou, by Jove, not gain'd a vast reward ? 

The. Had not the whole of Thrace been deep in snow, 
And all her streams congeal'd, that very time 
When here Tlieognis for the prize contended. 
I with Sitalces was carousing then. 
Who above measure was the Athenians' friend, 
And your admirer in such true degree, 150 

That on the walls he'd write — " charming Athenians." 
His son, whom an Athenian we have made. 

P Sitaloet «nd his son Sadocus, whom Nymphodonis procured to be made (liroc- 
riffi) a citizen of Athens, and thus strengthened the alliance with his father, are 
particularly mentioned by Thucydides (lib. ii. c. xxix.), on which passage see 
Bloomfield's note. 

112 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act i. Sc. ii. 

Would fain partake our Apaturian dainties ^ ; 
He begg'd his father to assist his country, 
Which he when sacrificing swore to aid 
With such an army, that they would exclaim, 
"See what a host of locusts come upon us!" 

Die. If I believe, of what thou here hast uttered. 
One word, (except the locusts,) let me perish. 

The. And now, of all the Thracians, he has sent 160 

To you the nation most renown'd in war. 

Die. 'Tis clearly so indeed — 

Enter the Thracian Forces. 

Her. Come hither, Thracians, 

Led by Theorus. — 

Die. What new mischiefs this ? 

Th£. The Odomantian host. 

Die. What Odomantian ? 

Who hath smoothed down their flower of manly strength ? 

The. Should any one reward them with two drachmae, 
Still would they harass all Boeotia's land. 

Die. Two drachmas to these circumcised fools ? 
Our naval people then might justly moan. 
The guardians of this state. — Oh wretched me! 170 
How am I ruin'd by the Odomantes, 
Who waste my garlick ! — will you tread it down ? 

The. Approach not, simpleton, these garlick-eaters. 

Die. And will you, Prytanees, o'erlook my wrongs. 
In my own country, from barbarians too ? — 
But with the Thracians no assembly make, 
I charge you, for reward — I tell you that 
A drop of rain hath struck me as a sign. 

4 The festival named Apaturia was celebrated at Athens during three days of 
the month Pyanepsion, answering to our October. At this feast, children accom- 
panied their fathers, to have their names enrolled in the public register ; whence, 
perhaps, the name dwaropia, i. e. ofiotrarSpia, The first day was called SopTria, 
from SopiroGt a supper, because on that day each tribe had a separate meeting, 
whereat a sumptuous entertainment was provided, containing perhaps, among other 
dishes which it was customary to present, a kind of sausages or puddings (dWav' 

160—200.] THE ACHARNIANS. 113 

Her. The Thracians may depart, and three days hence 

Again be present — for the Prytanees 180 

Dissolve th' assembly. [Exeunt Thracians. 

Die. Miserable me ! 

How sweet a garlick mixture have I lost ! 
But here, Amphitheus, from Sparta^ comes — 
Amphitheus, hail ! — 

Amp. Not till I cease from running ; 

For I must flee in haste from these Acharnians. 

Die. On what account ? 

Amp. In haste I hither came. 

Bringing the truce to thee — ^but certain old 
Austere Acharnians, tough as oak or maple. 
Who fought at Marathon, smelt the design, 
Then all at once exclaim'd — O most. perfidious ! 190 
Bringest thou treaties when our vines are burn'd ? 
At the same time they gather'd stones by cloakfuls ; 
I fled — while they pursu'd and shouted out. 

Die. And let them shout — but bringest thou the truce ? 

Amp. So have I said — here are three specimens. 

'Tis for five years ; receive and taste its fruits. 

Die. Fie on't. 

Amp. What now ? 

Die, These treaties please me not. 

Smelling of pitch and naval preparations '. 

Amp. Then take these ten year treaties ancTenjoy them. 

Die. These too smell sharply of the embassies 200 

Sent to our towns, as if to chide the slowness 
Of the allies. 

Amp. Here is a truce, by land 

And sea, for thirty years. 

Die. O Dionysia ! 

They savour of pure nectar and ambrosia. 
These charge us not to keep three days' provision, 
But say with open mouth — " go where thou wilt." 

' Dicfeopolis says this in allusion to the shortness of time for which the truce 
was to be granted ; did rb dXiyoxpoviov avrStv (^(tttov^wv), as the Scholiast 
observes. Amphitheus then extends the term to ten years. 


lU THE ACHARNIANS. [Act it. Sc i. 

Them I receive and drink and sacrifice 

Bidding a long farewell to the Acharnians^ 

Then going home, freed from the ills of war, 

Will celebrate the rural Dionysia*. 210 

Amp. And I, from tlie Acharnians, will escape* [Ewit running. 

Cho. Pursue each one, and for the man enquire 
Of every passenger — ^to seize this fellow, 
Were w orthy of ih e city — show me then, 

any know, to what part of the earth. 
Is tum'd this treaty-bringer — he hath fled, 
Vanished from sight — alas my wretched years ! 
Not in my youth, when bearing loads of coal, 
I followed in the race PhauUus' steps ^ 
So lightly had this c«*rier of th# truce 220 

Coiivey*d himself away from my pursuit 
But now since stiffness has subdued my hams, 
And Lacratides' leg: by age weigh'd down. 
He's gone — ^but I must follow — for he ne'er 
Shall boast thajk he had from th' Achamians fled. 
Old as we are — ^he who, O father Jove, 
And all ye gods, made treaty with our foes, 
'Gainst whom I wage detested war, that still 
Increases, to avenge my ravag'd fields ; 
Nor will I cease, till rush-like I fix on them, 230 

With shajrp and painful unportunity. 
That they may never moi^ tread down my vines. 

• According to H«sychius, the feasts, celebrated by the Athenians in honour of 
Bacchus, were threefold : those in the fields, which are mentioned here, were held 
in the month Poseidion, answering to our March ; the Lenaean feasts, which the 
Scholiast erroneously confounds with the former, in the month Authesterion (or. 
February the 12th.) > and the Dionysian festivals, in the city, held in the month 
Elephebolion, (April), (see the note on verse 1040.) From the description here 
given of the festival, Brunck remarks that no conjecture can be formed as to the 
date of this comedy. 

* This Ph'aulltts appears to have been a man of most extraordinary agitity, who, 
according to an epigran cited by the Scholiast, took a leap of fifty-five feet, and 
hurled his discus to the distance of ninety-five. According to Herodotus (in Ura- 
nia), he was thrice victim in the Pythian games. The Scholiast quotes the 
foUowiqg ^griim upon the subject of his wonderful agility. 

210—250.] THE ACHARNIANS. 

But we must seek and pelt this man with stones. 
And follow him till found, from land to land. 
I ne'er can have my fill of pelting him. 

DicffiopoLis, Wife and D&vqiite& of Dicmopolis, Chorus. 
Die. Speak words of prosperous omen. 
Cho. Silence all '. 

Heard ye the bidding of good omens, friends? 

This is the very man for whom we seek. 

All draw aside, for he comes out as if 

To sacrifice. 
Die. Speak words of omen fair. 240 

Advance a little, thou Canephora, 

And Xanthias set the phallus up erect. 
WiF. Lay down the basket, daughter, that we may 

Begin the rites. 
Dau. O mother, reach me hither 

The ladle, that upon this cake I may 

Pour out the broth. 
Die. 'Tis well. — O sovereign Bacchus, 

This pomp, with grateful mind, I've brought to thee, 

And led my household train to sacrifice". 

That 1 might spend the rural Dionysia, 

In prosperous quiet from the army freed, 250 

And well enjoy this truce of thirty years. 
WiF. Come beauteous daughter, bear thy basket well, 

With thy sharp look, as if on savory fed. 

How blest whoe'er shall wed thee, and at dawn, 

Give thee a perfume, sweeter than the civet's I 

<■ So Horace, (Ep. ii. \. 139 — 144.)^ probably in imitation at Ibis passage of 

Agricolffi prisci, forlcB parvoque beati, 
Condita post fruraenta, levsntes tempgre fesito 
Corpui et ipsum aoimum spe finis dura ferentem, 
Cum sociis operuni, puecis el conjuge jida, 

a, Silvanum lacte piabant, 
Floribui el vino Genium memotem bi 

116 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act ii. Sc. i 

Advance — and take good heed lest in the crowd 
Some lurking villain rob thee of thy gold. 
Die. O Xanthias you must hold the phallus up 
Erect behind the basket-bearing maid. 
And I will follow with the phallic hymn. 260 

Thou, woman, view me from the roof — advance. 

Dithyrambic Hymn. 

Phales whom wandering choirs invite 

To Bacchic orgies of the night, 

Unhallow'd revellers who prove 

The transports of adulterous love ; 

After the sixth revolving year 

Again have I address'd thee here ; 

Come to my tribe with willing heart, 

Made treaties for myself apart, 

No longer by affairs distress'd, 210 

From war and Lamachus at rest. 

For, O Phales, Phales, 'tis far more sweet 

With Strymodorus' lovely maid to meet. 
Purloining wood on Phelleus' heights 
Seize her and urge to love's delights. 
Phales, Phales, 

If thou wilt drink with us, the cup of peace, 

Quaff'd at the dawn, shall bid thy head-ache cease ; 

And in the smoke thy shield suspended be. 
Cho. Strike, strike the wretch, this, this is he — 280 

Wilt thou not beat him ? 
Dig. Hercules, what's this ? 

Youll break my pitcher — 
Cho. No, but we will stone thee, 

Detested fellow ! 
Dig. For what cause, O ye 

Most honourable of Acharnians ? 
Cho. Askest thou this? — Shameless thou art and vile — 

O traitor to thy country, who alone 

Hast made a treaty for thyself, and then 

Canst look us in the face. 
Dig. Ye know not wherefore 

260—3^0.] THE ACHARNIANS. 117 

I enter'd on this treaty — hear me then. 
Cho. We hear thee ? — die — we'll bury thee with stones. 290 
Die. Not till ye've heard me — ^but forbear good men. 
Cho. I won't forbear — so speak to me no more, 

For I detest thee more than Cleon, whom 

We with our knights some time will cut to pieces. 

Nor will we listen to thy long discourse, 

But punish thee for thy Laconian treaty. 
Die. Let the Laconians rest, my friends, and hear 

If with good cause I enter'd on this treaty. 
Cho. How with good cause ?— since thou art once allied 

To those who have nor shrine, nor faith, nor oath. 300 
Die. Full well I know the men of Lacedsemon, 

With whom we are so mightily offended. 

Of all our evils have not been the cause. 
Cho. How not of all, O wretch ? dar'st thou say this 

In such plain terms to us, and shall I spare thee ? 
Die. No, not of all, not all-^for I can say 

And prove that they have oft been injured too. 
Cho. This is a dreadful speech, and heart-disturbing. 

That thou should'st dare to plead with us for foes. 
Die. If well I speak not, and the crowd approve, 310 

I'll lay my head upon a chopping-block. 
Cho. Tell me, why spare our stones, my fellow tribesmen, 

Nor beat this man into a purple rag ? 
Die. What a black fire-brand waxes hot among you ! 

Will ye not hear the truth, O ye Acharnians ? 
Cho. We will not hear. 

Die. Then I'm in evil case. 

Chow If I hear, let me perish. 
Die. Say not so, 

Cho. Now be sure that thou shalt die. 

Die. Yet will I sting you, and in vengeance kill 

Your dearest friends — ^besides I hold of you 320 

Some hostages, whom I will first destroy — 
Cho. Tell me, ye burghers, what imports this threat 

To us Acharnians ? has he any child 

Of ours shut up at home, or whence his boldness ? 

lis THE ACHAENIANS. [Act ir. Sc. i 

Die. Strike, if yoa wish — for this man I will slay, 

[produces a basket. 
And qiiiiekly know who cares for coals among you. 

Cho. I'm lost. — This bottle is my fellow tribesman* 
But do not what ihou hast design'd, I beg. 

Die. Cry out, for I will slay and hear thee not. 

Cho. Then thou wilt murder thy ooal-loYing friend. 330 

Die. And you just now refused to hear me speak. 

Cho. But tell us now of Lacedaemon's sons^ 
Whate'er is in thy mind, nor fear to lose 
Tliy small coal-basket, through my treachery. 

Die. Empty me first these stones upon the ground. 

Cho. Behold them :— rand in turn lay down thy sword. 

Die. But let us see that no stones hirk within 
Your threadbare cloaks. 

Cho. ' They're shaken on the ground. 

Canst thou not see ? frame me no more excuses^ 
But lay the weapon down. This shaking s made* 340 
Even while we turn us round. 

Die. With clamour then. 

The coals Pamesian had been shaken out % 
And nearly lost through popular imprudence. 
Burst with such mighty terror, my coal-basket 
Dissolved in black dust, like the eutde-fish. 
For *tis a dreadful thing, that mortal rage 
Should be like unripe grapes, making men pelt 
With stones and better words ; nor wish to hear 
My rational conditions, when I woidd, 

V As Dicsopolis utters these vords, he throws the coals out of his basket, made 

of twigs cut from the hill Parnes, which was situated in Attica, and belonged to 

the territory of Acharnie. In this and the following speech of Dicieopolis, there is 

considerable obscurity and variety of reading. Schutz proposes iLvQpaKii>Q IVap- 

v^ffWQ, the eoal'merchant of Parnes, thus making the just citizen address his basket 

jocosely, as if it were a man, (see v. 315, where the chorus had called it his coal' 

loving friend.) And with this reading, the words that follow may well agree. 

For as the basket was in great danger of being destroyed, Dtceopolis supposes 

himself to have been defiled by the coal-dust adhering to it. Ehnsley says that 

the line, 

ilikXKiT &pa irdpreg dvaGiiuv Paris* 

would be correctly rendered in English, " I thought I should make you hold your 

330—370.] THE ACHARNIANS. 

Witli head on block, speak all, which I now say, 350 
In favour of iny friends of Lacedffimon, 
And yet, to me, is Ufe desirable. 

Clio. Why tell not then, bringing the block without, 
That mighty secret, which thou hast to utter? 
For vast is my desire to know thy mind. 
But as thou hast decreed thy punishment. 
Here place the block, and then begin thy speech. 

Die. Behold, regard — this is the chopping -block. 
And this the little man who is to speak. 
Take thou no heed — by Jove, I will not shield me, 360 
But say whate'er I think of Lacedasmon. 
And yet I greatly fear — since well I know 
The manners of our rustics, how they joy 
Should any boaster, right or wrong, commend 
Them and their city — ignorant meanwhile. 
Such praise is nought but treachery in disguise. 
I know the old men's dispositions well, 
Who nought regard but the condemning stone. 
Nor have forgotten what, by Cleon's order, 
I suffer'd for my last year's comedy", .^70 

For, dragging me into the judgment hall, 
With false and juggling tongue, he rain'd upon me 
His slanderous accusations, So that I 
Had nearly perished in the muddy stream. 
Permit me therefore, now before I speak, 
To clothe myself like a most wretched man. 
Clio. Whence are these artful turns ? Why this delay ? 
I care not, if, from Hieronymus ', 
Thou take the datk thick-crested helm of Pluto ', 

■ Alludinj; la tlis BabjlotiUiiB, otTrhicb'plaj we bave bal Iwen ly -three ahott 
fragments. It was acted in tlie second year of the liiiTiiilh Olympiad, when 
Eucles nas archon, at the city Dionjsia, which were celebrated in the monlh Ele- 
phcbolion, aoewering to the end of Febniaiy, about which time (here was it con- 
fluence of (he allies at Athens, who came Ihithec in order to pay their tribute. 
The Scholiast informs us Ihal Arislophaaos had in this comedy severely lampooned 
his old enemy Cleon, and siafTered materially from his powerful resentincat. 

f This Hieronymus, called by Ihe French liaoslator le paile Jtrimi, was ihe 
son of Xenophantus, and a bad dilhyrambie poet. 

• oimTo3affuiri'iC)^rptx'' rflv'AWot twn», 'J'his'Aiioe kvv^, according to the 


UO THE ACHARNIANS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

And open all the crafts of Sisyphus, 380 

Since no delay this crisis will admit. 
Die, 'Tis now full time for me to take good heart, 

And bend my footsteps towards Euripides. 

Boy, boy — 
Cep. Who's this? 

Die. Say, is Euripides 

At home ? 
Cep. He is within, and he is not, 

If you can understand. 
Die. Within, and not ? 

What riddle's this ? 
Cep. 'Tis right, old man ; his mind, 

Gathering light songs abroad, is not at home, 

But he within makes comedy aloft*. 
Die. Thrice blest Euripides, to have a slave o90 

Who so discreetly answers ! Call him hither. 
JCep. It cannot be. 
Die. Yet do't, for I can ne'er 

Depart, but at the door will knock. Give ear, 

Euripides, my Euripidion, 

If e'er thou listenedst to any man : 

I, Dicaeopolis ChoUides**, call thee — 

Scholiast, was a proverbial expression applied to those who used any contrivance 
for the purpose of concealing themselves. For such was the helmet of Pluto, 
which Perseus put on when he decapitated the Gorgon Medusa. 

' In this passage I have adopted the reading of the Scholiast (rpvyt^diav), which 
word occurs again at v. 473. Tpvy<f>diav ttoCjv, and v. 474. Bentley, in his Dis- 
sertation on Phalaris, (p. 294.) highly, and, in my opinion, justly approves of this 
word, which the Examiner had falsely asserted was here used to signify tragedy ; 
the common lection being Tpayt^diav. I cannot agree with Brunck that this jest is 
unbecoming the character of Cephisophon, who might fairly imagine that his master 
Euripides, by his collection of crutches^ wooden legs, dead arms, etc., was actually 
engaged in preparing for the composition of a comedy, similar to Fletcher *s 
Beggar's Bush, In this case we may conceive no jest to have been intended, but 
that the valet answers the query of Dicseopolis in sober seriousness. The French 
translator modernizes the word by rendering it la trygodie, 

^ So named from a people of the Attic tribe ^geis, and, according to the Scho- 
liast, a play upon the word x<^^^C* lame. Bentley observes that the lines 379. and 
38*2. together make one perfect senarius. 

'Evpiiridr}, Eifpiirihov' aXX' ov (TxoX)). 

Instead of XoWidrig, G. Burges proposes to read icaXet fcaic6(TxoXa as, alluding 

380—410:] THE ACHARNIANS. 121 

Eur. I am not now at leisure. 

Die. Yet roll down*. 

Eur. It cannot be. 

Die. Yet do it. 

Eur. You shall view me, 

Although I have no leisure to descend. 

Die. Euripides. 

Eur. Why call so loud ? 

Die. In air 400 

M akest thou tragedies, when here below 
It might be done ? thy heroes must be lame **. 
But why this wretched garb of tragic rags ? 
'Tis with just cause thou mak*st thy heroes lame. 
But at thy knees I beg, Euripides, 
Give me some shred of any ancient drama, 
For I, at length, the chorus must harangue ; 
And this brings death, if I pronounce amiss. 

Eur. What rags ? are they the same in which this CEneus, 
Wretched old man ! contended in the lists ? 410 

Die. Not his ; but those of one more wretched still. 

Eur. Are they the shreds of the blind Phoenix ? 

Die. No. 

But one there was, more hapless even than Phoenix. 

to the extreme slowness and difficulty with which Euripides composed, according 
to the accusation of his contemporaries. The diminutive Euripidion is formed like 
Phidipiddion and Socratidion (^Clouds, vv. 80 and 225.) 

^ dXX lKKVK\ri9tiT . The stage machine by which this rolling down was to be 
accomplished, called by the Greeks kKKVKXrifia, is described by Jul. Pollux, 
(Onomast. iv. 128.) as well as by the Scholiast on this passage. The ingenious 
author of the Theatre of the Greeks, (pp. 116, 117.) says, *' in some cases, one or 
more stories of tlie front wall in a temporary house were made to turn upon hinges, 
so that when this front was drawn back, the interior of a room could be wheeled 
out and exposed to view ; as in the Acharnians, where Euripides is so brought 
forward. This contrivance was called £nci/c^ma." The Italian translator igno- 
rant of the exact meaning of this word, renders it by vien a lajinestra. The same 
machine is used in the Clouds, to exhibit Socrates in the air. 

(^ "In the Frogs, JBschylus satirically denominates Euripides tov x^o'^o^o^ov* 
the maker of lame heroes, (v. 845.) Aristophanes in both passages, makes an 
allusion to Philoctetes, Telephus, and fiellerophon, whom Euripides represents 
as lame. This is not surprising, says our poet maliciously, since they fall from so 
elevated a machine, in which you fabricate them." — (Note of the French trans- 

122 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act n. Sc. i. 

Eur. What shreds of garments dees the man requhre ? 

Are they the rags of beggar Philoctetes? 
Die. No : but of one far, far more beggarly, 
E(JR. Or wilt thou clothe thee in those sordid robes, 

Whidi erst, tiie lame Bellerophon possessed ? 
Die. No, not Bellerophon — but be, I mean. 

Was lame, importunate, and eloquent. 420 

Eur. I know the man, — the Mysian Telephus. 
Die. The same. — I pray thee give his rags to me. 
Eur. O boy, give him the shreds of Telephus. 

They Ke above the Thyestean patches, 

And under those of Ino. 
CepIH3>o? IoO Here, take them. 

Die. O Jove •, by whom all objects are seen through. 

Grant me to dress in this most wretched garb. 

Since thoii hast gratified my wi^h 6o far, 

Euripides, give me thoBe other tatters, 

I mean the Mysian boimet fi»r my head. 430 

Since it behoves me to seem poor k>-d«y. 

To be, bat not appear, such as I am; 

For the spectators know me, of a truth. 

And here these foolish, choral, old men stand. 

That I may mock them with my idle tales. 
Eur. Yes, I will give them — for with cunning mind 

Thou meditat'st diy schemes. 
Die. May'st thou be blest ^: 

According to my wish for Telephus ! 

Courage 1 — I*m now so filFd with dainty speeches. 

But still I need the staff that beggars use. 440 

Eur. Here^ take it, and depart from the stone portal. 
Die See*6t thou, my soul, how froim the house I'm driven, 

« Biuack observes that Stoura tad «ar^arra are «pithets of JujAfeer, but that a 
CQ^eit allusioQ is also made to the tranqiareBt and lacerated oondition of the rags. 
In this remark he was anticipated by the BchoUadt» although the French translator 
ipves to the learned critic of Strasbargh all the ingenuity of the observation. This 
speaoh of DicsBopoUs is exfuisiteiy satirical ; and its facetiousness is greatly 
iMighteaed by the introduction of two verses (415 and 416) horn the l^lephus of 

' TiMse verses are also parodied from the Telephus. 

iraXcuff Ixocfit* TijXl^y ^ lyw 0povw. 

430—460.] THE ACHARNIANS. 

Although in want of inany utensils ? 

Now lowly be thy prayers. — Euripitlcs, 

Give me the beggar's basket, link-burnt through. 
Eur. What Deed hast thou, O wretch, of this incumbrance'? 
Die. No need at all^but yet I wish to hare it. 
EuK, Know thou art troublesome, and leave the house. 
Die. Be happy then, as once thy mother was* ! 
Eur, And now depart from me. 
Die. Nay, give me but 450 

One little cup, tho' broken at the rim. 
Eur, Take this and go : — know thou'rt the house's plague. 
Die, {aside) Not yet by Jove, know'st thou what ille thyself 

Hast perpetrated ? but Euripides, 

Give me, O sweetest friend, nought save this pipkin, 

Lin'd with a sponge. 
Eur. Man, thou wilt rob me of 

My tragedy — here, take this, and depart '. 
Die. I go r — what shall I do ? for there is need 

Of one thing, which, not gaining, I am lost. 

Hear, sweet Euripides ! but grant me this, 460 

And I depart, nor ever more approach thee. 

Give me some slender leaves into my basket. 
Eur, Thou ruin'st me — my dramas are all vanish'd^ 
Die. No more. — I will depart; since, to the chiefc, 

I seem a froublesome and hatefiil charge. 

Ah me, ill feted ! — how I'm lost ! for that. 

In which lay all my interest, I've forgot. 

t This lioB is slso a puiody of ods id the Telephua. 

ri S' u 7-dXnc ai T^Bi irilOtaeai SiXiis- 

'• A sarcastic reflectioa upon the mesa birth of Euripides, wbow mother, ClJlo, 
gaiacd her livelihood by the eait of potherbs : this is alladed to in several of the 

' A ver; severe and satirical reBeclion upon Euripides, as if Ihe sum and sub- 
stance of his plays were contained in the tragic apparatus tequiied for Ihem. The 
pipkin, menlioned bj DicKOpolii, was lined with sponge, probably as a preventive 
against injury to his head when he Vfore it as a helmet ; or, according to ths Scho- 
liast, since the poor were in the habit of using sponge to slop up chinks in broken 
vessels, may contain a covert illusion to the same efFecl. 

' ^pBvia inH ri Ipifiara. This U altogether in the style of Kuripides, who 
uses Ihe word ijipootot no fewer than thirty-nine timea in the course of his plays. 


1^4 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act ir. Sc. i. 

My sweetest, dearest Euripidion, 

By a most wretched fortune may I perish, 

If I make thee aught, but this sole request : 470 

Give me of thy maternal shepherd's needle K 

Eur. The man insults me : — close and lock the doors. 

Die. O me ! I must depart without my chervil. 

Know'st thou what trial thou wilt soon sustain. 
When speaking for the men of Lacedasmon ? 
March forward now, O mind, the goal is here. 
Stand*st thou, who hast imbib'd Euripides " ? 
Courage now, I exhort thee, wretched heart — 
Go thither ; — and when thou hast plac'd thy head 
Upon the block, then say whate'er thou wilt. 480 

Be bold and go : — now I admire thee, heart. 

Cho, What wilt thou do ? what wilt thou say ? now, know 
Thou art' a shameless and an iron man. 
Who, having granted to the state thy neck, 
Art now about to contradict us all. 

S.-C. Intrepidly the man prepares to act ; 

Come then, since thou art pleas'd to speak, say on. 

Die. " Envy me not, Spectators, if in rags", 

I wish to speak, among th' Athenian tribes, 

On state affairs," in comic travestie, 490 

For comedy to justice is allied. 

My speech will be severe, but just withal : 

For Cleon shall not now asperse me, that, 

In strangers' presence, I malign the state. 

' This, as well as verse 456, contains another ironical reflection upon the ob- 
scurity of Euripides' origin, as born of a mother who was a dealer in the vilest 
potherbs ; the same allusion is contained in v. 19 of the Knights. Compare also, 
V. 446. 

^ Dicaeopolis has Euripides so much by heart, that, as Schutz observes, he makes 
use of the loquacity and redundance of sentiment peculiar to that tragedian. This 
speech is a close parody of Medea's address to her wavering mind, so beautifully 
given by Euripides, (v. 1242.) 

aX\! €( ottXiZov Kaptia* ri fikXKofisv, k. r. X. 

° The Scholiast observes that the two first lines of this speech, in which Dicae- 
opolis details his reasons for having made a separate peace with the Lacedaemo- 
nians, are also parodied from the Telephus of Euripides. 

M^ fioi <pdovri<TtT\ avdpfQ 'EXX^vwv aKpoi, 
'El TTTiitx^Q wv rlrXijic* l<rOXoiffiv Xsytiv, 

470—510.] THE ACHARNIANS. 125 

Since we're alone. 'Tis the Lenaean feast, 
No strangers present yet, no tributes come, 
Nor from the cities flock our old allies. 
But we are cleans'd from our impurities, 
For foreigners I name the townsmen's chaff. 
I much detest the men of Lacedaemon, 500 

And wish that Neptune, the Taenarian god**. 
May shake the houses down upon them all. 
For, to the ground, my vineyards have been cut. 
Yet why, since we before our friends converse, 
On the Laconians cast these evils' blame ? 
For some of us, (I do not name the state — 
/l^ Remember this, I speak not of the city,) 

But certain troublesome, ill-fated fellows. 
Men of no mark, and of ignoble race. 
Calumniated the Megareans' vests P; 510 

And should thev chance to see a cucumber, 
A leveret, garlick, little pig, or salt, 
These, as Megarean, would that day be sold. 
Such things are trifles and of custom here ; 
But youths, drunk at the cottabus **, proceed 

^ The wish expressed in these energetic lines of Dicaeopolis will doubtless remind 
the classical reader of that passage of the Iliad (^' 27.) beginning 

AirbQ 5* 'Ewoffiyaiog, fxa>v x£ip£<r<ri rplaivav, 

so finely imitated by Virgil, (^n. ii. 610.) 

NeptuQus muros, magnoque emota tridenti, 
Fundamenta quatit, totamque ab sedibus urbem 

He will also, perhaps, call to mind the hateful character given of the inhabitants 
of Lacedaemon by Euripides, iu his fine tragedy of Andromache, (v. 445, sqq.) 

^Q iroLGiv dv9p(t)'jroiaiv Ix^iffroi (iporiovt 
STrapri/g ivoiKoi, doXia jSovXcvri^pta, 
"^evSCiv dvaKTBQy iirixavvo(>pa^oi KaK&v, 
'EXiJcrd, KoifSkv vydg, &X\cL irdv irspi^ 
^povovvTig, adiKijg ivrvxiir 6.V 'EXXa^a. 

P Accusing them falsely, as Brunck remarks, of having some contraband articles 
of merchandise concealed beneath their garments $ Che vituperano le picciole vesti 
de Megaresi, — (Italian version.) 

*i This and the following verse are quoted by Plutarch in his Life of Pericles, 
who declares that the common people were continually reciting them in accusa- 

126 THE ACHARNIANS, [Act ii. Sc. i. 

To Megara, and steal libe girl Simaetha ; 

Then the Megareans, swelling with their griefs. 

Ravish in turn two harlots from Aspasia. 

Hence the beginning of the war broke out 

To all the Grecians, for tSiree courtezans ! 520 

Thence in his rage Olympian Pericles 

Lightened and thunder'd, and confounded Greece % 

Established laws written in phrase of song» 

That not on earth should the Megaireans stay, 

Nor in the forum, sea, or continent. 

Henceforth, when slowly they began to pine, 

The men of Megara besought the Spartans 

That the decree touching the courtezans 

Might be reversed — and we were long unwilling 

To grant their prayer ; and hence the clang of shields. 

Some men will say, it needed not— but tell 531 

What then was needful? How, if any one 

From Lacedaemon, sailing in his bark. 

Brought a false slander of a little dog 

tion of that calumniated orator, laying the whole blaine of the Felopexmesian war 
on him and Aspasia. ' The cottabus was a kind of game, which consisted in dashing 
the wine left in their cups on the pavement, or into dishes hanging down from the 
•Ktremi^es of « piece of wood like sealee.' (Sanxay, Lex. Aristophan.) 

*' iiarpawTeVf kfip^nfru, ^vvaofKei rf^v *B\KcL^tu This celebrated line has been 
imitated by Milton, in that passage of the Paradise Regained (book iy.) where, 
speaking of the famous orators, he describes them as — 

*' Those ancients, whose reitstless eloquence 

Wielded at will the fierce democraty. 

Shook th' arsenal,, and fulmin'd over Greece.'' 

Pliny the younger, in the twentieth epistle of his first book, cites, as well as this 

line from Aristophanes, another character of Pericles' eloquence, from the comic 

poet EupoUs*— 

irphQ dt y* aS rovrtfi rax V 

jntOfi rig erreKoBtiro roXtn xcfXteriv k. r. \. 

with which passage compare ^schylus (P. V. 179.) — 

Kcti /lovre^ /^cXtyXcatTtTotc ttjuQovs 
IvraoiSaiffLV OkX^tu 

The decree of Pericles against the Meg^ueans was written in a strain similar to the 
scholion of Timocrates the Rhodian : — 

w<ln\eg, & rvipXk IlXdvre, 
firtr' iv fit l^V^* iv OaXdrry, 

520—500.] THE ACHARNIANS. 127 

Stolen from Seriphus, would you have remain'd 
Quiet at home ? Nay, surely far from that. 
Straight would ye have equipp'd three hundred ships'; 
The city had been full of martial tumult, 
And trierarchal clamour ; stipends given, 
Palladian statues' gilde(il, while the porch 540 

Groan'd with the noise, provisions meaaur'd out, 
Bringing of bottles, oar-thongs, and of casks, 
Garhck, and olives, nets with onions fill'd, 
Chsplets, and pilchards, pipers, and black eyes ; 
The dock-yard had been fill'd with flat oar-timber, 
With crackling pegs, oars fasten'd by their straps. 
Pipes, cheering shouts, whistles, and rowers' tunes — 
This had yon done, I know— and shall we think 
That Telephus had not ? troth we lack sense 

S.-C. And is this true, O most abhorr'd and cursed ? 550 
1. Beggar thyself, dar'st thou so speak of us? 
Reproaching every casual sycophant ? 

S.-C.2.By Neptune, nought is false of what he says, 
But altogether just. 

S.-C.l. And if it be. 

Must he declare it ?— But he shall not thus 
Speak with impunity. 

S.-C.2. Ho, whither runnest? 

Wilt thou not tarry ? — strike him, and thyself 
Shalt briefly be suspended. 

S.-C.l. Grant thine aid, 

O gorgon-crested Lamachus, whose looks 
Are bright as lightening beams"; O friend, O tribes- 
man ! 560 

* The AlheniaDs, in tb« flourishing slate of tbeir republic, nere accustomed lo 
keep ihree hundred ttiremes constantly equipped for naval service. 

> It was usual nilh the Atheuiiins to place uu the prows of the galleys, before 
the; sailed, hgures of Mioerva adorned with gold. The latter part of this speech 
of DiciEOpolis, ID the origiml, presents us with an admirable picture of the tumult 
af warlike preparslton eihibited in a seaport. 

• This picture of the terrible Lamachus, son of Xenapbmes (Thuc. vi. 3), will 
pscluifis recall lo the ncallection of the claseica! reader Ovid's graphic description 
of a wild boar (Met. xi. 367.)— 


128 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act ir. Sc. i. 

If there be any military chiefs 

Or batterer of walls, grant us prompt succour — 

For I am seiz'd i' th' midst« 
Lam. Whence is this noise 

Of warlike intonation that I hear ? 

Where must we aid ? where throw our tumult in ? 

Who rouses gorgon from the buckler-case ? 
S.-CLO hero Lamachus, the crested cohorts ! 
S.-C.2.Say, is not this the man, O Lamachus, 

Who in old time hath our whole city slander'd? 
Lam. Darest thou say this, beggar as thou art ? 570 

Die. Grant me your pardon, hero Lamachus, 

If poverty hath made me somewhat prating. 
Lam. But what hast thou said of us ? wilt not tell ? 
Die. I know not, for from terror of the arms 

My head is dizzy — but remove, I pray thee, 

The bugbear from me. 
Lam. Lo, 'tis done. 

Die. Now place it 

Supine before me. 
Lam. There it lies. 

Die. Now give me 

This plume from off thy helmet. 
Lam. Here's the feather. 

Die. Now hold my head, that I may vomit ; for 

Crests I abominate. 
Lam. What wilt thou do ? 580 

Vomit upon the plume ? 
Die. Is it a plume ? 

Tell me then, of what bird? A braggadocio's ? 
Lam. Wretch ! thou sbalt die. 
Die. Oh ! not so, Lamachus ; 

Oblitus et spumis et spitso sanguine rictus 
Fulmineos; rubrd suffusus lumina Jlammd, 

This general is described by Plutarch as equalling Alcibiades himself in heat and 
rashness. The historian informs us (in his life of Nicias) that Lamachus, in his 
single combat with Callicrates, an officer remarkable for strength and courage, re- 
ceived the first wound, which proved mortal, but he returned it upon his adversary, 
and they both fell together. 

570—600.] THE ACHARNIANS. 129 

'Tis not within thy power— if thou be strong, 
Why circumcise me not ? — for thou'rt well arm'd. 

Lam. Say'st thou this, beggar, to the general ? 

Die. And am I, then, a beggar ? 

Lam. Why, what art thou ? 

Die. What ? a good citizen, not fond of power ; 
But a brave soldier, since the war began, 
While thou hast been a mercenary leader. 590 

Lam. By show of hands they chose me. 

Die. Troth, three cuckoos. 

Mov'd then by indignation at all this, 
I enter'd on a truce. — When I beheld 
Men grey with age among the ranks, and youths, 
Such as thyself, who ran away from toil*. 
And for three drachmas serve in Thracian wars — 
Tisameni, Phaenippi, and those wretches, 
Hipparchides with Chares. In Chaonia, 
Geres and Theodorus the Deiomean, 
With those in Camarina, and in Gela, 600 

And in Catagela — 

Lam. By suffrages 

They were elected. 

^ Aristophanes in these lines reflects severely upon the mercenary and unpatriotic 
conduct of those who received money from the public treasury for the purpose of 

supporting embassies, and on this account avoided the fatigues of war ( oLovq 

ai diadtdpaKOTag,) The French translator, as Schutz remarks, has rendered this 
passage with great accuracy — " ou voit les plus jeunes, tels que toi, se soustraire 
a la fatigue par des ambassades ; les unes en Thrace, avec trois drachmes d'ap- 
pointemens." This practice is doubtless alluded to in the epithet fivaQapxi-^'nQt 
which, as well as (Tirovdapxi^flQf Tlavovpyi'ir'jrapxiSflQy etc. are called by the 
Scholiast JElolic patronymics. The Deiomean denotes one of the tribe Deiomes. With 
Camarina and Gela (v. 581.), towns of Sicily, the poet (irapd rrpoahoKlav) joins 
Catagela (or the town of Derision) where Catania might be expected ; denoting by 
this fictitious appellation the ridicule which was often cast upon the Athenians 
by their ambassador. Compare the indignant burst of Dicaeopolis (v. 75, 6.) — 

Si KpavaA iroXiCf 
ap alffOdvti rbv KaraykXtov rdv icpka^tiitv \ 

tHautus appears to have had these sesquipedalian appellatives in his mind when he 
introduces Pyrgopolynices discoursing on the Campi Gurgustidonii — 

Ubi Bombomachides Cluninstaridysarchides 

Erat imperator summus. — (Miles Gloriosus, i. 1. 14.) 

VOL. II. ' ^ 

'^ ^ 

130 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Die. But what is the cause 

Why you from all parts gather recompense, 
And none of these ? Say, O Marilades, 
Hast thou in truth with hoary head sustained 
One or two embassies ?'^he nods dissent : 
And yet he is both modest and laborious. 
Dracyllus, Prinides, Euphorides, 
Knows any one of you Ecbatana, 
Or the Chaonians ? — they deny't : but he, 610 

Coesyra*s son^, and Lamachus, whose friends 
Lately for dinner-share and debts unpaid. 
Like those who use to pour away at eve 
The water that has lav'd their feet, all cry 
With exhortation loud, " Out of the way*." 

Lam. O sovereign people, is this to be borne ? 

Die. No, truly, if thou fightest not for hire. 

Lam. But 'gainst all men of Pelops' land I'll fight. 
Routing them every where, with all my valour. 
By infantry and ships. 

Die. And, for my part, 620 

To the Peloponnesians I proclaim. 
To all Megareans and Boeotians, 
That in my market they may buy and sell. 
But this to Lamachus is interdicted. 


The man prevails by force of argument, 
And to a truce converts the people's will. — 
But, stript, proceed we to our anapaests'^ — 

1 According to the Scholiast, Megacles is here alluded to, who had grown rich 
from a state of poverty ; but Elmsley supposes that Alcibiades himself is rather in- 

' HiravTiQ i^cTw napyvovv. In this passage l^i^Tio is put for i^iaraao' and 
the meaning seems to be well expressed by the FrencU translator — ** Des qu'on les 
apper9orit, ou leur crie GARE, comme cela se pratique le soir quand ou'jette de 
Teau par la fendtre." 

* The actors having left the scene, the chorus begin to chant in the manner of 
recitative, the hortatory parabasis addressed to the spectators — the Koftfiariov, or 
introductory section of which is expressed in two anapsstic tetrameters, catalectic ; 
and the parabasis, containing a noble apology of himself and his actions in favour 
of his fellow-citizens, comprises thirty-one of the same verses. This quick antidac- 

610—650.] THE ACHARNIANS. 131 


Since first our master fram'd the comic chorus, 

He came not forward to the audience yet, 

Declaring his own fitness — but, since slander'd 630 

By foes in the Athenians' hasty counsels, 

That he traduces, in his comedies, 

Our city and tlie people — now he would 

Before the fickle nation clear himself. 

The poet boasts, that he has been to you 

The cause of numerous benefits, preserved you 

From being over-joy'd by strangers' words, 

Neglectful citizens by flattery charm'd. 

Erewhile, ambassadors from foreign cities 

Beguil'd you with the name of violet-crown' d. 640 

Thence might one say, these crowns made you sit 

And should he call you by the flattering title 
Of ' splendid Athens,' he'd gain all his ends. 
Treating you like anchovies sous'd in oil ; 
Thus has he wrought you many benefits, 
And shown the friendly cities how to make 
Their people democratic. Wherefore now, 
Bringing this tribute, they will come to you 
The best of poets eager to behold. 
Who to th' Athenians dar'd to say what's just 650 

At his own peril — whence for this bold deed 
His glory travels far, when even the king 
Question'd th' ambassadors from Lacedasmon, 

tjlic measure formed a material feature in the Spartan military discipline, among 
whom it was in use for the purpose of animating the soldiers to battle : indeed 
without this kind of foot, as Cicero informs us (Tusc. Disputat. ii. 16.)f Qo exhort- 
ation was made to them. The cadence of these verses is particularly agreeable to 
the ear, and the whole of this long address deserves to be read with great attention. 
The epithet violet -crowned ^ v. 61^. (loorc^avovg), with which the Athenian people 
were accustomed to be cajoled by their ambassadors, is used in allusion to the 
words of Pindar in one of his dithyrambic hymns — 

at \nrapai koi iooTk^avoi *AQijvav 
(Fragment, x. ap. Heyn.) The same epithets are applied by Aristophanes to Athens 
in the Knights (vv. 1320 and 1326.) The slanders of which he complains at v. 604. 
were chiefly aimed at him by Cleon (see v. 476.) The short anapaestic stanza be- 
ginning TTpbg ravra KXkutv Kal iraXafiaffOo}, and ending with v. 639, is most 
cuttingly satirical. 


132 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

And ask'd them first whose navy was superior ; 
Demanding then whom most this poet slander'd, 
For those men were, he said, superior far, 
And should o'ercome in fight, who took his counsel ; 
'Tis therefore that the men of Lacedaemon 
Invite you to a truce, and claim again 
i^gina, not so caring to possess 660 

That isle, as wishing to eject the poet. 
But fear ye not, lest in his comedies 
He ridicule what's just — he but professes 
To teach you the good art of being happy, 
As^ Not offering bribes or flattery, not deceiving, 
{ j ?ot scattering round false praise, but honesti counsel. 
Let therefore Cleon for my ruin weave / 

All his contrivances, while right and justice 
Are on my side — I never shall be found 
To be like him, a traitor to the state, 670 

And a diseas'd lascivious wretch beside. 


Come hither, muse of fire, acute Acharnian'M 
As spark of holm-oak embers leaps aloft, 
Stirr'd by the whirling blast, when fishes near 
Lie ready to be broil'd ; while some mix up 
The generous Thasian sauce *^, and others bake 

Come thus, and bring to me thy fellow tribesman. 

The rapid, well-ton'd, rustic melody. 

We ancient citizens accuse the state ; 

That when by sea we've fought in your behalf, 680 

In our old age we are not fed by you 

According to the merit of our deeds, 

'' This invocation is in the true dithyrarobic style, and is remarkable for that 
character of poetical disorder which distinguished these hymns consecrated to Bac- 
chus. The opening line resembles that of the chorus in Shakspeare's Henry V. — 

** Ofor a muse of fire" etc. 

<^ A seasoning composed of rich ingredients, with which the kjravOpaKideg, fishes 
broiled upon the coals, mentioned in the preceding verse, were dipped. The epithet 
XurapdnirvKa, applied to it by Aristophanes, and proper to dithyrambic composi- 
tions, is, as Brunck observes, facetiously made use of in this passage, instead of 
the simple Xiirapdv, 

660—690.] THE ACHARNIANS. 133 

But treated harshly, dragg'd to the tribunals^ 
You suffer us to be the laughing-stock 
Of youthful orators, while we are dumb, 
And worn to nothing, like disordered pipes. 
Whose only saving Neptune is a club**. 
Muttering with age we stand at the Pnyx stone, 
Not viewing aught but the dark shade of justice. 
Meanwhile some stripling, eager to accuse, 690 

Contracts his words, and rounds his hasty periods •;[ 
Then tenders him aside insidious questions, 
Confounding and perplexing this Tithonus ; 
Who, cast in suit, draws in his lips from age. 
Then to his friends with tears and sobs exclaims, 
" I go in debt for what had bought my coffin." 
S.-C. Is it then right thus by the glass to kill' 

^ The Scholiast informs us that Neptune was worshipped at Athens under the 
title of A(r0aX€toC) in order that their navigation might be prosperous. As this 
deity bears a trident, so these old men, muttering with age, are represented as sup- 
porting their feeble steps on clubs before the tribunal at the Pnyx. 

e Compare Juvenal (Sat. vi. 458.) — 

curtum sermone quadrate 

Torqueat enthymema. 

Aristophanes names the old Athenian Tithonus, who in extreme age is feigned to 

have been metamorphosed into a grasshopper, a proper emblem of senility, both ou 

account of its bloodless frame (see Anacreon, tig Tsrriya, 17.), as well as its shrill 

cry, resembling the old man's voice, which, as Shakspeare so accurately observes in 

As you like it — 

Turning again to childish treble, pipes. 

And whistles in the sound. 

' Alluding to the forensic clepsydra, or hour-glass, which marked the lapse of 
time by the efflux of water, and was used in ancient times as a check upon the ver- 
bosity of such orators as Marpsias (v. 666,), who were apt to ramble into irrelevant 
digressions. Of this instrument a very good account, illustrated by a plate, is 
given in the Encyclopaedia Londinensis, a part of which the reader may not be dis- 
pleased to see extracted here. " The Clepsydrae are very ancient instruments ; they 
were invented in Egypt under the Ptolemies ; being used chiefly in the winter, as 
the sun-dials in the summer. But they had two great defects ; the one, that the 
water ran out with a greater or less facility, as the air was more or less dense ; the 
other, that it ran more readily at the beginning than towards the conclusion. 
Ctesibius of Alexandria obviated the latter of these objections, by adding a con- 
tinual supply of water, and a waste pipe to take off the superfluous quantity. The 
clepsydra, in its ancient form of an astronomical instrument, by help of which thie 
equator was divided into twelve equal parts, before the mathematical division of 
a circle was understood, was deemed of more vulue than a sun-dial, on account 

134 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

An old and hoary man, who much hath labour'd 

With his companions, and hath often wip'd 

The warm and manly sweat from off his brow, 70C 

So brave at Marathon in the state's cause ? 

We, who our foes urg'd in that field, are now 

Ourselves press'd grievously by wicked men, 

And then condemned. What Marpsias shall deny it ? 

For is it right that this man, crook'd by age. 

Coeval with Thucydides^, should perish. 

Involved, as if in Scythian solitude. 

With this Cephisodemus**, legal prater? 

So that I pitied, and wip'd off my tears 

To see this old man worried by an archer, 71C 

Who, when he was indeed Thucydides, 

By Ceres, scarce had borne the sounding goddess.', 

of its dividing the hours of the night as well as of the day. It was introduced into 
Greece by Plato, and into Rome by P. Cornelius Scipio Nasica, about 157 years 
B. C. Pliny says (lib. xxvii.) that Pompey brought a valuable one among hib 
spoils from the eastern nations ; and Caesar is said to have met with an iustrument 
of this kind in Britain, by the help of which he observed that the summer nights oi 
this climate are shorter than they are in Italy. The use which Pompey made oi 
his instrument was to limit the speeches of the Roman orators ; which Cicero al- 
ludes to when he says ' latrare ad clepsydram' (de Orat. iii. xxxiv.) The Egyp- 
tians, by this machine, measured the course of the sun ; Tycho Brache, in later 
days, made use of it to' measure the motion of the stars, etc. ; and Dudley employed 
the same contrivance in all his maritime observations." 

s He was the son of Melesias, and rival of Pericles — banished by ostracism in 
the first year of the Ixxxiv. Olympiad. He is mentioned again in the Wasps (v. 
947.), and by Plutarch, in his life of Pericles, who declares that he was instigated 
by the Athenian nobility to oppose that celebrated orator. He was of the ward of 
Alopece, and brother-in-law to Cimon. 

^ *H ^KvO&v Ipfjfilai is a proverbial expression, denoting the extreme of poverty. 
In this passage Elmsley considers it as a periphrasis for Cephisodemus himself, one 
of whose ancestors appears to have married a Scythian wife. Kuster interprets the 
words of the chorus thus : *' Is it just that a man bent double with age, like Thu- 
cydides, should perish, struggling with excessive poverty 1" 

* TT^v *AxatcLv i. e. Ceres, so named from the clang of cymbals which were 
used in searching for Proserpine (Catullus Atys. 9.) — 

Tympanum tubam Cybelles ; tua mater, initia. 
Again, v. 21. — 

Ubi cymbalum sonat vox, ubi tympana reboant. 
The Scholiast gives another reason respecting a vision of Ceres, which appeared to 
the people of Tanagra, who, when they left their native country, were directed by 
Ceres appearing in a dream to follow a particular sound, and to build a city wherever 

700—730.] THE ACHARNIANS, 135 

But ten Euathli first had overthrown'' ; 

Shouted more loudly than three thousand archers, 

And shot beyond his father's relatives. 

But since you suffer not old men to sleep, 

Be it decreed a law, that to an elder 

Some toothless aged man be an accuser ; 

To youths, the loose and prating son of Clinias*. 

Hereafter, tho' 'tis right to prosecute, 720 

Let old men mulct the ag'd, and youths the young. 


Enter DiCiEOPOLis, alone. 

Die. These are the limits of my market-place — 
'Tis lawful here for all Peloponnesians 
To trafBck, all M egareans and Boeotians, 
Selling for me, and not for Lamachus. 
And I appoint, to regulate the market, 
These three inspectors, chos'n by lot, and arm'd 
With thongs from Lepreum"* — let no sycophant 
Find entrance here, nor any other man. 
Who brings ill deeds to light by information". 730 

that might cease. They went on, led by the music of cymbals and drums into the 
territory of Attica, where they erected a temple to Cere* the resounder, 

^ Euathlus was the name of an indifferent orator of that time. He is mentioned 
again by Aristophanes (Wasps, v. 590.), where the Scholiast informs us that he was 
a sycophant, as well as a rhetorician — and spoken of by the comic poets, Plato, in 
the play of Pisander, and Cratinus, in the Thrattte, 

* i.e." When in company with the younger citizens he was as great a debauchee 
and prater as Alcibiades himself." The same character of this celebrated Athenian 
is given by Plutarch in his most interesting Life. 

*" This was a city of Elis in Peloponnesus, whence Dicsopolis procures the 
thongs with which he arms his agoranomi, or market inspectors, to intimate, as the 
French translator very probably observes, the friendly nature of the alliance which 
he had formed with the Lacedaemonians. This office was discharged at Rome by 
the aediles. Brunck observes that Plautus has latinized this word in his excellent 
and moral comedy of the Captives, (iv. 2. 43.}-~-fec€re sibi ^toli Ag^ranomum, 
The Scholiast adduces other interpretations of the words ifiavTag kK Xiirp&v one 
of which denotes the Megareans to have been commonly afflicted with the leprosy. 

** ij>a(navbgt of the same etymology with avKo^avrriQ, from ^alvut to show or 
declare. The Italian translator is very explicit; *'phasiano cioe sicofanta b 

136 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

And I will place, conspicuous in the mart, 
That pillar, near which I confirmed the treaty. 

Enter a Megarean with his Daughters °, 

Meg. Athenian forum, by Megareans lov'd. 

All hail ! I swear by friendship's guardian, Jove, 
That like a mother, I have long'd for thee. 
But, O sad daughters of a wretched sire, 
Ascend, if haply you may find a cake. 
Hearken, I pray, and turn your maws to me — 
Will you be sold, or hunger wretchedly ? 

Dau. Be sold, be sold. 

Meg. And I, too, say the same. 740 

For who is so devoid of understanding, 
That he will buy you to his open loss ? 
But I have some Megaric artifice ; 
For I will dress them up as pigs, and say 
I deal in such commodities : — come place 
These piggish claws around, that you may seem 
To be the offspring of a generous sow. 
I swear by Hermes, if you travel home. 
You will experience famine's worst extremes. 
But place this porker's snout around you too, 750 

And enter afterwards into this sack. 
Taking especial heed to snore and grunt 
With the full utterance of mysterious hogs p. 

calunniatore." In illustration of the next two lines it should be observed that 
such as entered upon a treaty, were accustomed to inscribe its conditions on a 
column erected in the forum. 

^ To indicate the extreme poverty of the Megareans, and the misery arising from 
war, Aristophanes introduces a man who brings his daughters to be sold, and for 
the sake of ridicule, he dresses them like pigs. He uses the Doric dialect, for the 
Megareans were originally from that country : hence he says Trorrdv fidddav for 
irpbg Tt^v fid^av. xpijt^iT for xp^^grc, etc. Bergler. 

P These animals were so named, as they were accustomed to be sacrificed to 
Ceres in the mysteries. Pliny, in'his Natural History (viii. 41.), says that young 
pigs are most proper for sacrifice on the fifth day after their birth, as sheep on the 
eighth, and calves on the thirtieth. Varro, in the second book of his treatise de 
Re Rustled, informs us that the sacrifice of a pig was of the earliest antiquity, both 
in confirming treaties of peace, and, among the Etruscans, in solemnizing marriages. 
One would be almost tempted to imagine that this comic dialogue between the 

740—780.] THE ACHARNIANS. 137 

I now will call on Dicaeopolis. 

Here, Dicaeopolis, wilt buy my pigs? 
Die. {entering) A man of Megara ? 
Meg. We come to market. 

Die. How fare ye ? 

Meg. Sitting o'er the fire we starve. 

Die. Nay, but, by Jove, an if a pipe be near. 

That were a sweet condition : and what else 

Do the Megareans now ? 
Meg. Demand you what ? 760 

The city's great men were deliberating, 

When I departed thence, how we might perish 

By the most quick and miserable end. 
Die. Straight from all troubles you'll be freed — 
Meg. Even so. 

Die. What else at Megara ! How sells the corn ? 
Meg. With us, as highly priz'd as are the gods. 
Die. Then bear you salt ? 

Meg. Have you not our salt-sellers ? 

Die. Nor any garlick ? 
Meg. And what should we have. 

Since in your late invasion, like field mice. 

With stakes you've rooted up the garlick heads? 770 
Die. What bring' st thou then ? 

Meg. I bring the mystic hogs. 

Die. Well said, produce them. 
Meg. They are plump in sooth ; 

Suspend them if thou wilt — how fat and fine ! 
Die. What kind of thing was this? 
Meg. a hog, by Jove. 

Die. What say'st thou ? Of what country is this pig ? 
Meg. Of Megara — or is it not a pig ? 
Die. Not as it seems to me. 
Meg. Is it not strange ? 

Behold his incredulity ! — ^he says 

That this is not a pig — but if you will. 

Wager me now some thyme powder'd with salt 780 

Megaream and Dicaeopolis, respecting the sacrifice of pigs to Venus, was intended 
to turn the custom into ridicule. 

138 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

If it is not a very Grecian hog. 
Die. But 'tis of human kind. 
Meg. By Diodes, 

'Tis of our kind. — ^What think'st thou of its nature ? 

Say, wilt thou hear them grunt ? 
Die. Yes, by the gods. 

Meg. Speak quickly, porker — thou lost animal, 

There is no need of silence — soon, by Hermes, 

I'll take thee home. 
Dau. Koi, koi. 

Meg. Is it a pig ? 

Die. Now it appears so, but with five years' growth 

It will become a damsel. 
MeGv And be sure. 

She will be like her mother. 
Die. But not yet 790 

Is she prepared for sacrifice. 
Meg. Why not ? 

Die. She has no tail — 
Meg. For she is yet a youngling. 

But when a full grown porker, she will have 

A great, thick, red one. But, if you should choose 

To breed this up, she'll be a beauteous pig. 
Die. How kindred is her nature to the other's ! 
Meg. Yes, for their sire and mother were the same. 

But when the downy hair begins to thicken. 

She'll be a beauteous offering to Venus. 
Die. But this to Venus is no proper victim. 800 

Meg. To her alone of all the deities. 

And of these hogs, when roasted on the spit *^, 

The flesh becomes most sweet. 
Die. And could they now 

Be fed without the mother? 
Meg. Yes, by Neptune, 

<i The Scholiast informs us that the Boeotians used the word 6de\bvt as Aristo- 
phanes does here, instead of the usual 6j3cX6v. From the two preceding answers 
of the Megarean, we may at least infer that the integrity of animals, offered in 
sacrifice, was as essential a part of the heathen as of the Jewish ritual. 

790—810.] THE ACHARNIANS. 139 

Without the father too ^ 
Die. And what food chiefly 

Does it devour ? 
Meg. Whatever you may give — 

Ask it yourself. 
Die. Pig, pig ! 

Dau. Koi^ koi» 

Die. Would'st eat 

Chick pease ? 
Dau. Koi, koi, koi. 

Die. What, Phibalean figs » ? 

Dau. Koi, koi. 

Die. Would you devour them too ? 

D. 2. Koi, koi. 

Die. How sharply you cry out after the figs 1 810 

Bring, some one from within, figs to my porkets. 

Will they eat them ? O honoured Hercules, 

Strange how they crunch ! from what land come your 

They seem like Tragasasans * : but not yet 

All of the figs have they devour'd — 
Meg. • 'Tis so. 

For I have taken one of them away. 
Die. By Jupiter, but these are noble beasts. 

For how much can I buy your porkers ? say, 
Meg. For one of them, I ask a piece of garlick". 

' A sneer at the misogynist Euripides, towards whom our poet appears to have 
cherished a spirit of constant and insatiable hostility. 

* These figs take their name, according to the Scholiast, from a place either in 
the Megaric or Attic territory, but it is doubted which : 0tj3aXtc denoting a spe- 
cies of dried figs (hx^^(»»V awb tov ItrxvatrQai), hence the word was applied to 
men of thin and spare habit. 

' This may signify either inhabitants of a town named Tragasse, and mentioned 
by Stephanus Byzantinus, or be intended simply to denote the voracity of these pig- 
daughters, from the verb Tpwyto, I eat, 2d aorist trpayov. This joke cannot 
be preserved in a translation. Brunck. The Latin rendering, Voi'acia, conveys 
but one part of the meaning. The word occurs again in v. 818, but there it is 
derived from Tpdyog, a goat. 

" A great proof of the extreme misery to which the Megareans were reduced by 
the war, during which all commerce with the Athenians was interdicted, that a 
man should be under the necessity of selling his daughter for a heap of garlick 

140 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

The other, if you wish, a single chsenix 8^0 

Of salt will purchase. 
Die. I will buy them of thee. 

Wait there — 
Meg. So far, so good. — Oh Mercury 

Patron of trafHck, grant me but to sell 

My wife and mother thus ! 

Enter a Sycophant. 

Syc, Man, whence art thou? 

Meg. From Megara, pig jobbing. 

Syc. Then will I 

Denounce as enemies your hogs and you. 
Meg. Comes this decree again, whence first the spring 

Of all our ills arose ? 
Syc. This Megarizing 

Shall cost you tears. Wilt not let go the sack ? 
Meg. O Dicaeopolis, I am denounced 830 

By some one. 
Die. Who is this informer ? Ye 

Who rule the market, will ye not drive out 

Of doors these sycophants ? without a wick 

How can you bring to light what you have learn'd ? 
Syc. What ! shall I not denounce the enemies ? 
Die. You will repent unless you quickly bear 

Your accusations to some other place. 
Meg. How great an ill this, in th' Athenian state ! 
Die. Cheer up, Megarian — take the price required 

Of salt and garlick for thy pigs — farewell. 840 

Meg. But this is not our custom. 
Die. Let it fall 

On my own head, if I spoke indiscreetly. 
Meg. O pigs, try, even without your father's aid 

To eat the mass with salt, if any give it. \_Exit. 

(oKopo^iav TpoiraXKihoQ), and the other for a chaenix (about a pound and a half) 
of salt. 

820—860.] THE ACHARNIAN&. 141; 


The man is blest — have you not heard the issue 

Of his wise counsel? — sitting in the forum 

He will enjoy the fruit — and if a Ctesias 

Enter, or any other sycophant, * 

In silent lamentation shall he sit. 

No other market cheat shall injure you, 850 

Nor Prepis stain you with his infamy ; 

Nor in the crowd, Cleonymus molest you ; 

But with unspotted garment shall you pass ; 

Nor should Hyperbolus encounter you, 

Filling you with satiety of law. 

Nor should Cratinus*, walking in the forum. 

His hair cut in lascivious fashion, meet you, 

Or that most wretched Artemon, whose muse 

Glides on so quickly, he whose armpits rank 

Of an offensive goat-like odour smell ; 8G0 

Or should again the wicked Pauson view you. 

Or the Cholargians' shame, Lysistratus, 

O'erwhelm'd with vices, he who starves jand shivers 

Oftener than thirty days in every month. 


Enter a Bceotian, vAth pipes and various commodities, 

BcEO. By Hercules y, my burden'd shoulder pains me. 
Lay quietly the pennyroyal down, 
Ismenias, and you, Theban fluters, here, 

^ This Cratinus must not be confounded with the celebrated comic poet of that 
name, but is to be understood of a noted. Athenian, of dissolute manners and habits, 
who was accustomed to shave his beard in a peculiarly nice fashion, juia /Ltaxatp^, 
which Photius, in his Lexicon, interprets, a rawr (n'lav fiaxaipav r^v ypaXida, 
AptffTOijidvfiQ). Schutz on the passage observes, ** fiia fidxcupa est novacula nos- 
tra, et opponitur forficibus (quasi duobus cultis compositis) quibus barba tonderi, 
non autem radi solebat." 

y Ittw 'RpaKXrjg — a irode of adjuration in use among the Thebans, to whom 

Hercules was an indigenous divinity ; irro), says the Scholiast, &vrl tov Ioto). 

Compare the well known oath which Virgil places in the mouth of ^neas, (.^n. 

xii. 176.) 

'* Esto nunc Sol testis, et hsc mihi terra precanti." 

142 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

With bony pipes swell the dog's fundament. 
Die. A plague upon you, drones — Whence from my doors ! 

Whence have these curs'd Choeridian bagpipers 870 

Wing'd to my house their melancholy flight ? 
Bgbo. By lolaus, willingly, O stranger — 

For blowing after me from Thebes, they've strewn 

Upon the ground your pennyroyal flowers. 

But purchase if you please, of what I bear. 

Some of these hens, or four-wing'd grasshoppers. 
Die. O my Bceotian bread-devourer^ hail. 

What bring you ? 
Bgbo. All that is thought good among us. 

Mats, lamp-wicks, pennyroyal, marjoram. 

Daws, chickens, coots, wrens, ducks and didappers. 
Die. You come then like a wintry tempest, stor'd 881 

With poultry for the mart. 
B(£0. I bear moreover, 

Geese, leverets, foxes, moles, cats, hedgehogs, ferrets. 

With weasels, otters, and Copaic eels ^ 
Die. O thou, who bearest most delightful food 

To men, if thou hast eels, let me salute thee. 
Bgbo. Most honour'd of Copais' fifty nymphs 

Emerge, that thou may'st gratify this stranger. 
Die. O thou most dear, and of old time desir'd, 

Thou comest wish'd for by the comic choirs, 890 

And dear to Morychus*. Domestics, bring me 

* UriSac, kvvZpbtQ, lyx^^^^C Kcuirat^ac* There is great discrepancy of opinion 
among the commentators as to the proper names of these various animals enume- 
rated by the Boeotian. Bergler is my authority for rendering UrXdagt IvvZpiag (a 
Boeotic form of kvvlpovQ), distinct creatures, the former of the weasel, and the 
latter of the otter tribe. The eels of the lake Copais in Boeotia were celebrated for 
^eir excellence. It is now called Limne, and receives the waters of the Cephisus 
and other rivers. Verse 848, is a parody of a line of ^schylus from the *' adju- 
dication of the arms/' in which a personage of the drama, speaking of the Nereids 
who come to the judgment, addresses Thetis thus, 

SsffTTOiva TTivTriKOvra "Stjpitdiov x^pov* 

Elmsley observes that the oprakixoi and riTpaTrrepvXKidtg, mentioned in v. 836, 
are manifestly birds and quadrupeds, but not domestic fowls and locusts orcicadae. 
The Scholiast, on ^schylus, (Agam. 54.) interprets the word dpra\ix(tiv of young 
birds not yet fledged ; see Arnold, Animadvers. Crit. c. 35, on the passage. 
*• That is, equally dear to comic (Tpvy<pdiKoXg) and tragic poets. The Scholiast, 

870-910J THE ACHARNIANS. 143 

A chafingdish and fan, — behold, my boys, 

This admirable eel, which comes but now, 

To gratify a longing of six years. 

Address it, O my children. — I, myself, 

Will, for the stranger's sake, provide you coals. 

But bring it in, for not in death, would I 

Be separate from thee, when cook'd with beets \ 
BcEO. But where will be my recompense for this ? 
Die. This you shall give me for my market dues. 900 

BcEO. All this will I. 
Die. Come then, for how much say'st thou ? 

Or wilt thou go, and carry hence thy wares ? 
B(EO. Whatever th' Athenians have, but not Boeotians. 
Die. You will then buy anchovies of Phalerum, 

Or, carry earthen wares. 
BcEO. Pans or anchovies ? 

Them we have there. But those which we have not. 

Such things will I convey in plenty' thither. 
Die. I know it, therefore take a sycophant 

Envelop'd like a vase of earthen ware. 
BcEO. Nay by the gods, I should export much gain 910 

If charged with him, as a malicious ape ^ 
Die. And hither comes Nicarchus, to inform. 

on V. 61. of this play, says that Morychus was a man of a luxurious style of living, 
and one of the ambassadors to the king of Persia. He is mentioned again in the 
Wasps, (606, 1142,) the Peace, (1008), and by Plato, the comic writer cited by 
the Scholiast on the Clouds, (110). 

^ Kuster observes that the Greeks were accustomed to serve up eels at table 
enveloped in beet leaves : but this appears doubtful. Suidas, citing this passage 
of Aristophanes, says that it was customary to dress them with beet in order that 
they might taste the sweeter. These two verses are a parody upon Euripides, 
(Alcestis, V. 374-5.), where Admetus addresses his wife in those tender words, 

firidk ydp Qavwv wort 

oov xtapig tirjv. Trig fJ^^vijQ Trtffr^g kfioi. 

c This adjuration, which is inaccurately rendered by the French translator par 
Jupiter (vai roi aiut), is expressed in the Boeotic dialect for v^ rto Oew, meaning 
Araphion and Zethus, the tutelary deities of the country. A Lacedaemonian 
would swear in this form (as in the Peace, 214. and the Lysistrata, 86.) by Castor 
and Pollux ; an Attic female by Ceres and Proserpine (Eccles. 155.) In the 
remainder of these lines, the Boeotian refers ironically to the sycophant, whom if 
lie bore on his shoulders and sold as an ape, he would be a considerable gainer. 

14* THE ACHARNIANS. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

BcEO. In stature he is quite diminutive ; 
Die. But altogether bad. 

Enter Nicarchus. 

Nic. Whose are these burdens ? 

BcEO. They're mine from Thebes — bear witness Jupiter ! 
Nic. Then 111 denounce them as the enemy's. 
BcEO. What evil have the birds done, that thou raisest 

Battle and war against them ? 
Nic. Nay, I will 

Inform against thee too. 
B(E0. But for what wrong? 

Nic. I'll tell thee, for the sake of the bystanders : 920 

Thou bringest in wicks from the enemy. 
Die. And wilt thou then inform of candle-wicks ? 
Nic. Yes, for one might burn down the arsenal. 
Die. A wick consume the dock ? 
Nic. I think so. 

Die. How ? 

Nic. Should some Boeotian fix it to a beetle. 

And send it blazing into th' arsenal, 

Urg'd by strong Boreas through a watercourse, 

Then if but once the fire attack the ships, 

Straight would they blaze *^. 
Die. O thou most execrable ! 

Will candle-* wicks and insects make them blaze ? 930 
Nic. Yes, I maintain it. 
Die. Seize, and stop his mouth. 

Give me some straw, that, like an earthen vase. 

He may be borne, nor broken in the carriage. 
Cho. Bind the goods firmly round the stranger, friend. 

That in conveying him it may not break. 
Die. This shall be my care, since it utters forth 

A sound, as if it crackled in the fire — 

Even by the gods abhorr'd. 

^ ffekayoivr' &v tvBvQ, This is Pierson's excellent emendation for the common 
reading, creXayoTvr' hv a\ vrjvg; which, heiog the Ionic form of the nominative plu- 
ral fnjig, would not be admissible here — to say nothing of the insipid tautology : &v 
ivOiig is the reading adopted also by Invernizius, and is undoubtedly the true one. 




Cho. How will he e'er 

Make use of it ? 

J>ic. 'Twill be to him a vessel 

Expedient for all purposes — a cup 


Of mischiefs — mortar full of litigation — 

A lamp to show the guilty — and a chalice 


That shall confound things. 


Cho. How then can one trust 

To such a vessel's use, that through the house 

Is always crackling so ? 

Die. 'Tis strong, my friend, 

So that it never could be broken, if 

Head downwards 'twere suspended by the feet. 

Cho. Thou hast it well arrang'd now. 


BcBO. I'm about 


To harvest up my wares'. 


Cho. O best of strangers. 

Assist in bundling up, and having seiz'd 


This fellow, throw him where thou wilt, for sure 

To every place thou'It bear a sycophant. 


Die. With difficulty have I bound the wretch.— 

Take up the vase, and bear it, Boeotian. 

B<E0. Go, bend thy callous back, Ismenicus', 

And take good caution how you carry it. 

Die. 'Tis no great good that thou wilt bear— but still, 

This gain the burden will confer on thee. 


A blest immunity from sycophants*. 


Enter a valet of Lamachus. 

Val. Ho, Dicffiopolis! 

Die. Who is't ?— why call'st me ? 


Val. Why? Lamachus prays thee to lend this drachma 

• /tfUu yt Toi 9tpiSliii- Cot the common form Bipi^uv. So the French 


Utor— "Ji vait maintenanl ramasser ma petite tfculie." Elmalay, however, re 


parum ad rem sunt. BipiSliv pro iv KfiarTfiv dictum videlur." Suidas interprets 

the word as a metaphor from the reapers making up ibeir shsaiES. 

' i. e. Bceotian; to named from the river Ismenus, flowing near Thebes, and 

felHog iQto the Euripus. 

« " E saiai avvenlurato per rispello de calunniatori." — ftaUan tranilathn. 

VOL. II. t 


146 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act iv. Sc, i. 

For the libation feast'', to purchase thrushes ; 
And two besides for the Copaic eel. 

Die. Who is this Lamachus that asks an eel ? 

Val. That dreadful, that undaunted man, who shakes 
His gorgon buckler and three shadowy crests'. 

Die. Not I, by Jove, should he give me his shield. 
But let him shake his crests at the salt pickle. 
Should he be troublesome, 111 call to aid 
The agoranomi, and, taking on me 970 

This burden, I will enter on the wings 
Of thrushes and of blackbirds \ 

Cho. Thou behold'st, 

O city, this most wise and prudent man: 
Here, having made a treaty for himself. 
He trafficks in all kinds of merchandise. 
Some for his household use, and tepid food 
To gorge his palate, all good things which trade 
Grants in profusion here — -jaever will I 
Entertain war as a domestic guest. 
Nor shall he e'er, on social couch reclin'd, 980 

With me recite th' Harmbdian melody^ ; 
Since he is like a man by wine inflam'd. 
Who in his hours of wassail, rushing out. 
Overturns, confounds our full prosperity. 

^ Ei'c Toi)£ Xoag. The Scholiast gives a long account of this solemnity, which 
was instituted during the celebration of the Lenaean festival, bytPandion, king of 
Athens, to whom Orestes had fled for refuge after the murder of his mother Cly- 
tsmnestra. It was customary for the guests to eat and drink in profound silence, 
holding no communication with each other. The x^V ^^ ^^ ^ measure of 
liquids, containing about six pints. 

* These two lines are parodied from iEschylus (vii. ad Theb. 384.), who, de- 
scribing the mad boaster Tydeus, says — 

ToiavT 6vT&v, rpiiQ KaraffKiovg \6(I>ovq, S€(«. 

^ These lines, according to the Scholiast, are imitated from some metrical com- 
position of the time, probably sung at banquets. 

> This was a scolion which the Athenians were accustomed to sing at their feasts 
in honour of Harmodius, who, together vtrith Aristogiton, freed their country from 
the tyranny of the PisistratidaB. This song, beginning with the line 

kv fivprov Kkadl r6 K^^og ^opii<ru>t 
is of a highly animated and poetical character, and has been preserved by Athen:eus 
IB the fourth book of his Deij^osophisttS; 

970—1010.] THE ACHARNIANS.' 

And fights against ua, tho' we challenge him 
With frequent invitations — " drink, rechne. 
Accept this friendly cup"— so much the more 
He fir'd the stakes, and from the vines pour'd out 
With violence the wine. Then he assum'd 
His spirits for the feast ; and, as a proof 990 

Of his luxurious life, out of the doors 
He cast these feathers forth. 
Die. O Peace, companion 

Of the dear Graces and the Cyprian queen, 
How little knew I thy fair countenance ! 

may some love bring me and thee together, 
As he is painted with his flowery crown ! 

Or haply think'st thou that I am too old? 
But being join'd with thee in fellowship, 

1 think I yet could add three blessings to thee ; 
First, to drive in a lengthen'd row of vines, 1000 
Then near it plant young progenies of figs ; 

And thirdly, aged as I be, a vineyard. 

With olive trees encircling the whole space ; 

So that from them both you and I may be 

Anointed at the new moon's festivals. 
Her. All people, hear— and at the trumpet's blast 

Drink the libations with your country's rites ; 

And he who first exhausts them shall receive 

The sack of Ctesiphon". 
Die. O boys, O women. 

What do ye? hear ye not the herald's voice? 1010 

Boil, bake, turn, drag away the hares, and weave 

The chaplets quickly— bring the spits that I 

May stretch the thrushes on them. 

" Ad ironical alluaion to the huge liie of ClBsiphoD, mho is described by the 
Schotiaat aa iraj(wc tai irpoyiiffruip. Al the libation feast they drank by the sound 
of a tniiDp«t, aad & sack was given as a prize to the victorious drinker (Dicsapolia 
in this comedy.) According to Timsus (quoted by Atbenxue) Dionysius the ty- 
rant oSered a golden crown to him who should hrst drink olF the required measure, 
and Xenoccates the philosopher was ^e winner. The Choan feast was celebrated 
on the thirteenth of tho month Anthesterion, answering to our February, according 
to Philochorus, quoted by the Scholiast on v. 1040. The manner of celebrating 
the feast is described in v. 964, etc. 

148 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act iy. Sc, i. 

Cho. Thee I envy 

For thy good counsel, man, and more for this, 

Thy present feast. 
Die. But what, when ye behold 

The thrushes roasted ? 
Cho. That's well spoken, too. 

According to my notion. 
Die. Stir the fire. 

Cho. Hear ye with what a trim and cook-like air 

He ministers his festive preparations ? 

Enter a Husbandman. 

Hus. Ah, wretched me ! 

Die. O Hercules, who's this ? 1020 

Hus. An ill-starr'd man. 

Die. Now go on your own way. 

Hus. O friend, since thou hast made a separate truce, 

Measure me out some five years' length of peace. 
Die. What hast thou suffer'd ? 
Hus. I have lost two oxen. 

Die. Whence? 

Hus. The Boeotians took them off from Phyle. 

Die. Then art thou, O thrice wretched, rob'd in white ? 
Hus. And fed me with all luxuries, by Jove. 
Die. Now then what need'st thou ? 
Hus. I have lost my sight. 

Weeping the beeves — but if thou hast a care 

For the Phylasian Dercetes, anoint 1030 

My eyes with balm of peace incontinent. 
Die. But, O thou wretch, I practise not in public. 
Hus. Nay, I entreat thee, if by any chance 

I may regain my beeves. 
Die. It cannot be. 

Go, weep them in the school of Pittalus. 
Hus. But thou distil for me into this reed 

One dftjp of peace. 
Die. No, not a particle. 

Go and lament elsewhere. 

1020— 1060.] THE ACHARNIANS. 

Hus. Ah ! wretched me 

For my laborious beeves. 
Cho. - The man hath found 

Some profit in his treaties, which to all ] 

He will not, aa it seems, communicate. 
Die. With honey sprinkle thou the tripe, and roast 

The cuttle-fish. 
Cho. Hear you his lofty voice ? 

Die. Come fry the eels. 
Cho. Me you will slay with famine, 

The neighbours with fat odour, bawling thus. 
Die. Dress these, and give them the rich golden hue. 

Enter a Bridesman. 
Bri. Ho! Dicseopolis. 

Die. Who's this ? who's this t 

Bki. a certain bridesman from the nuptial feast 

Sends you these meats. 
Die. Well done, whoe'er he was, 

Bm. He prays thee to infuse, for the meat's sake, 1050 

Into this alabaster box, one cup 
'Of peace, that he in dalliance may consume 

His hours at home, and not go forth to fight. 
Die. Hence with the meat, and give it not to me — 

I would not pour it for ten thousand drachmas, — 

But who is she ? [Pointing to tlte bridestnan's wife. 

Bri. The marriage president, 

Who from the bride a word would fain impart 

To you alone. 
Die. What say'st thou ? O ye gods, 

What an absurd request ! that she should ask me 

With importunity to keep at home 1060 

Her husband's amorous propensities ; 

Come, bring the treaties hither, that to her 

Alone, a woman, and for war unfit, 

I may impart them — hither bring, O woman, 

The ointment box— know you with what intent? 

Enjoin the bride that, when they raise recruits, 


150 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

Each night with this she bathe her husband's limbs. 
Take hence the treaties ; bring me a wine-measure, 
That I may have to pour for my libations. 
Cho. And hither some ohfe with contracted brows 1070 

Hastes, as a messenger of import dire. 

Messenger, knocking at the door o/'Lamachus. 

M. 1 . O ! for the troubles, wars, and Lamachus ! 
Lam. Who knocks at the brass-decorated dome " ? 
M. 1. The generals have thiis day commissioned thee 

Quickly to take the cohorts and their crests, 

And then, tho' drench'd in snow, to guard the frontiers ; 

For some one at the feast of cups and platters** 

Told how Bceotian robbers had attacked them. 
Lam. O leaders ! more in number than in worth ! 
Die. Is it not dreadful that the festival 1080 

I cannot celebrate ? O army, led 

By Lamachus to war ! 
Lam. Unhappy me ! 

Dost thou deride me now ? 
Die. And would'st thou fight 

With this four-plum'd geryon ? 
Lam. Out alas ! 

What message has the herald brought to me ? 
Die. And what brings he who runs so swiftly hither ? 
M. 2. Htj ! Dicaeopolis. 

^ oifjupl xo^i^o<}>d\apa ddjfiara* or, according to the Scholiast, in one word, Afim 
<l>i,XO'^i^o<l>a\apa dvrl rov TroXvxaXica. Lamachus, like Shakspeare's ancient 
Pistol, is fond of delivering himself in tragic vein, and appears constantly mindful 
of the Horatian precept (ad Pison. 126.) 

servetur ad imum 

Qualis ab iocepto processit, et sibi constet. 

*> ifirb Toijg Xoac ydp Kal Xvrpovg. Aristophanes in this verse mentions the 
feast of dishes as well as of cups. According to the Scholiast, Theopompus relates 
that the men saved from the deluge had caused all sorts of seeds to be baked in 
pots, whence the feast celebrated on this occasion in honour of the subterranean 
Mercury, in order to render him propitious to the dead, received its origin. This 
feast, like that of the cups, was also held at Athens in honour of Bacchus, and 
both took place on the same day. See the note on v. 925. 

1070—1 1 10.] THE ACHARNIANS. 151 

Die. Whatis't? 

M. 2. To supper P 

Haste, but first bring the chest and the libation^ 

For Bacchus' priest invites you to his banquet. 

But haste, for thou hast long delay'd the supper, 1090 

And all the rest is now in readiness : 

The couches, tables, cushions, carpets, wreaths, 

Myrrh, sweetmeats, courtezans, cakes at the mill 

Not ground, and wafers mix'd with sesamum, 

Fair dancers, and the sweet Harmodian strain — 

But use your quickest haste. 

Lam. Ill-fated me ! 

Die. Thou'st cut a mighty gorgon on thy shield. 
Hasten, and some one get the supper ready. 

Lam. Boy, boy, bring here to me my wooden knapsack. 

Die. Boy, boy, bring hither to me my canteen* 1100 

Lam. Salt mix'd with thyme, and onions bring me, boy. 

Die. Bring me some fish, for onions I abhor. 

Lam. Boy, bring me on a fig-leaf some rank pickle. 

Die. Brink me a fig-leaf, too, I'll cook it there. 

Lam. Place here the plumes that are upon my helm; 

Die. Bring thou to me the ring-doves and the thrushes^ 

Lam. How beautiful and white this ostrich feather ! 

Die. How fair and yellow is the ring-dove's flesh ! 

Lam. Bring out the crest-case for my triple plume. 

Die. And give to me a basin of hare's flesh. 1110 

Lam. But worms crinivorous have eat my crests. 

Die. I before supper will the pudding eat. 

Lam. Man, cease to ridicule my panoply. 

Die. Man, wilt not cast an eye upon the thrushes ? 

Lam. Man, wilt thou not address thy speech to me ? 

P This speech of the herald, as the French translator well observes, is a favour- 
able specimen of the beauty of style and richness of expression for which Aristo- 
phanes is so remarkable. The constant recurrence of the letter A, that vowel being 
the first expression which nature dedicates to pleasure, is veiy significant of the joy 
and gayety which are the soul of festivity. In the remainder of this scene. La- 
machus sets before us, in the directions which he gives to his valet, all the dress 
and component articles of militaiy equipage — his gloomy appearance and manner, 
contrasted with the sprightliness of Dicsopolis, must have furnished a very agree- 
able entertainment to an Athenian audience. 

152 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act v. Sc. i. 

Die. No^ but the boy and I debate long since ; 
Will you defer the bet to Lamachus — 
Which is the sweeter food^ locusts or thrushes ? 

Lam. Fie, how you banter ! 

Dig. He prefers the locusts. 

Lam. Boy, boy, take down my lance and bring it hither. 1120 

Die. Boy, boy, take down and bring the pudding hither. 

Lam. Come, let me draw the covering off the spear — 
Boy, hold it firmly. 

Die. Hold this, too, my boy. 

Lam. Boy, bring the table to support my buckler. 

Die. And bring me my supporters, the bak'd loaves. 

Lam. Here bring the gorgon circle of my shield. 

Die. And let me have a cake round as a cheese. 

Lam. Will not this cause broad laughter to mankind ? 

Die. Is not this cake then sweet to mortal taste ? 

Lam. Pour oil, you, boy, upon my shield's brass knob. 1130 
I see an old man skulking off with fear. 

Die. And honey. — There, too, is an old man plain. 
Ordering gorgasian Lamachus to weep. 

Lam. Bring hither, boy, my breastplate for the war. 

Die. Boy, bring me my libation breastplate too. 

Lam. With this Til harm myself against the foe. 

Die. And I with this against my fellow-drinkers. 

Lam. O boy, attach the leathers to my shield ; 
Myself the wicker basket will sustain. 

Die. Boy, to my wicker chest the supper bind. 1140 

Lam. Take up the buckler, boy, and go thy way. 

Die. Myself will bear the cloak, and straight depart. 

Lam. It snows — strange things, these wintry expeditions ! 

Die. Take up the feast — convivial matters these. 

Cho. Go to the field rejoicing. — How unlike 

The several paths you tread ! he crown'd with chaplets 
At Bacchanalian revels — while with cold 
Shuddering you keep your watch ; he sleeps meanwhile 
With a most lovely damsel, and wears out 
His time in dalliance. 

S.-C. 1. This Antimachus, 1150 

Historian, lyric poet, him who drops 

1120—1170.] THE ACHARNIANS. 

His calumnies on all ', may Jove confound ! 
(To aum the wish up in one simple word) 
"Who, caterer at the Lentean feasts. 
Sent off unhappy me without my supper: 
Him may I see eager for cuttle-fish, 
Which lying on the table, hissing hot. 
And served with salt, provokes his appetite ; 
Then, when in act to take it, let him be 
Prevented by a thievish cur, who flies 3 

With the stol'n dish away. 
S.-C. 2. This is one evil 

I wish him : and the next, a nightly woe : 
For, as he walks home from the riding school. 
Sick with quotidian fever, may some wretch. 
With liquor-heated brain, like mad Orestes, 
Batter his head ; then, feehng for a stone 
In darkness, fill his hand with recent mud. 
And, hurling, miss his mark, but strike Cratinus. 



Enter o'Servant of Lamachus. 
Ser. Domestics of the house of Lamaclius, 

Some water, water in a pipkin warm, 1 170 

Your linen rags and cerecloths, too, prepare, 
Some wool unwash'd, and bandage for the ancle — 
A man, in leaping o'er a ditch, has been 
Hurt hy a stake, and, bending back his ancle. 
Hath dislocated it — hia head he broke 
Falling upon a stone, and from his shield 
Batter'd the gorgon — while the mighty crest 

1 This Anlimachu! wiis an historian of Ibat lime, who, from his alanderoua di 
position, received, by a paranomasia, the title of mh of Fiicas, or drop. According 
to ibe Scholiast be caused a decree to be passed. Forbidding comic poets to iatro- 
duce persons on the stage bj their real names. It is said by some, thai being a 
good poet, he was in the habit of fumishiag the usual equipmcnti to the aclon, 
whicb, as Cboragus, it bscame bis office to supply, io & sparing and ioaufficient 

154 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act v. Se. i. 

Of this vain boaster fdlen upon the rocks. 
He spoke a mouniful strain — " O glorious sight. 
Now for the last time seen, I quit your ray, 1 180 

Together with my life." This having said. 
He rises from the gutter, and some thieves 
Encountering in their flight, with his bold' spear 
He drives and thrusts them forward. — Lo ! himself— 
Open the door. 

Enter Lamachus, out of breath. 

Lam. Attatai, attatai, 

These sharp cold pangs ! unhappy that I am ; 

I perish, wounded by a hostile spear — . 

And that's a lamentable grief to me ; 

For, if beheld by Dicaeopolis, 

How my calamities will be derided ! 1 190 

Enter Dic^eopolis, as not perceiving Lamachus, addressing 

two Courtezans. 

Die. Attatae, attalattatae ! those breasts 

Swelling with quinces' hard protuberance ! 

Enfold me, beauties, with a wanton kiss ; 

For I have swallow'd my libation first. 
Lam. O wretched chance of woes ! O painful wounds I 
Die. All hail, knight Lamachus ! 
Lam. O wretched me ! 

Die. I labour too with grief. 

Lam. Why mock'st thou me ? 

Dig. Why dost thou bite me ? 
Lam, What a heavy cost 

Of war have I sustain'd ! 
Die, Has any one 

His reckoning paid at the libation feast ? 1200 

Lam. O paeon, paeon ! 
Dig. But this present day 

We hold not the Paeonian festival**. 

' This was a feast held at Athens in honour of Apollo Psan, the god of medicine. 

1180—1210.] THE ACHARNIANS. 165 

Lam. Support my legs, O friends ! 

Die. And you, my dears, 

Hold me in the same way* 
Lam. Struck by a stone. 

My dizzy head turns round, as With vertigo. 
Die. And fain would I upon the bed recline, 

Urg*d to the deed of darkness. 
Lam. Garry me 

To seek the healihg aid of Pittalus. 
Die. Bear me before the judges. Where's the king ? 

Restore my bottle. 
Lam. An afflicting spear 1210 

Strikes through thy bones. 
Die. Behold this empty jug — 

Hurrah, victorious • ! 
Cho. And htirrah again. 

Triumphant old man, since thou callest out. 

* TtivBKXa KoXKiviKOQ. This word (riivtKXa), as the Scholiast informs us, was 
invented by Archilochus, id imitation of the sound of the flute. The hymn com- 
posed by that poet in honour of Hercules, and consisting of three strophes, begaii 

T^vcXXa KiaKXiviKt, xaip' &va^, 

*H|oajcXciCf aitrSg re Kcd *l6\a6i, 

See the opening of Pindar's ninth Olympic ode, and the Scholiast on the Birds (y. 

Having concluded my remarks on such passages of this very amusing eomedy 
as appeared to stand in greatest need of illustration, I cannot refrain from adding^ 
by way of epilogue, a few judicious observations of M. l'Abb6 Vatry, quotied by 
the French translator, in his Examen des AchahiuM, His words ane as follow : 

" Les poetes de la vieille coni^die ne prirent point leurs suj^ dahs In vid 
ordinaire des hommes ; ils vouiuent surprendte leurs spectateurs par la nouveaut^ 
et par la bizarrerie de leurs fictions ; ils sa firent un m6rite db tirer des f^nds left 
plus frivoles en apparence» de'quoi charmer et instruirem^me leurs concitoyens, et 
surpasser leurs rivaux." The Ti^nslator then continues — '* Les Achamiens eviehiient 
singulierement a Tappui de cette proposition. Aristophane y supposa qu'un simple 
bourgeois fait seul un traits particulier avec ses ennemis, qui mettent tout a feu et 
a sang, et qui ravagent toutes les campagnes. II suppose en outre qu'en vertu de 
ce traits, ce bourgeois jouit de tous les avantages de commerce, vit dans Tabondance 
de toutes choses (kv vaffi P'oXiroic v, 990.) et n'est uniquement occup6 que de 
plaisirs et de festins, tandis que concitoyens sent en proie i toutes les horrears de 

156 THE ACHARNIANS. [Act v. Sc. i. 

Die. Pure wine, moreover, pour'd into the cup, 
I at a single draught have swallow'd down. 
Cho. Hurrah, thou generous man — go take thy bottle. 

la guerre, et r6daits auz privations de tous les genres. Voila constamment une fic- 
tion tres absnrde en elle meme ; on conviendra cependant que Tinvraisemblance 
de cette supposition ne nuit nullement au plaisir que pent causer la piece, et a I'in- 
t^rSt qu'elle inspire. II ne s*agit dans cette coni6die que de faire contraster les 
avantages de la paix avec les malheurs de la guerre. — C'est pr6cisement ce qui 
donne lieu aux situations et auz scenes comiques dont cette piece est remplie. Le 
poete s*est d*ailleurs astreint aux trois unites de temps, de lieu, et d'action." 
Speaking of the unbridled license with which the Bacchanalian feasts were cele- 
brated; and which caused their abolition in Rome*, he observes very truly — " Tout 
autem, comique surtout, m^me avec le dessein de ramener a I'ordre par de bons 
conseils, cette liberty effren^e, pouvoit it s*empecher de perbre le langage du mo- 
ment, et de souiller souvent son style dans la fange de ces volupt6s grossines et r6- 
voltantes, qui seules 6toient capables d'atteindre des ames avilies et blaz6es par 
I'exces et Tabus de la liberty V 

Nor can I refrain from laying before my readers the eloquent eulogium upon 
Aristophanes, with which Invemizius commences the Prooemium to his edition of 
our poet — " Acerrimi vir ingenii Aristophanes, doctissimus ac festivissimus Poeta, 
cujus eloquentia aculeis, aculei gravitate atque eleganti^ redundant, maximos 
semper habuit sus laudis prscones, ut merito ab omnibus principes inter poetas 
numeretur. Tanti autem Tullius, ne de ceteris dicam, eum facit, ut in Oratore solo 
ejus testimonio Periclem optimum oratorem fuisse dicat. Istorum enim, inquit, Ju- 
dicio si solum illud est atticum, ne Pericles quidem dixit attice, cui prim<B sine con- 
troversid deferebantur, Qui si tenui genere uteretur, numquam ab Aristophane poeta 
fulgurate, tonare, permiseere Graciam dictus esset, Ipsumque Tullium censeo, in 
secundo de Oratore potissimum Aristophanem significare, ubi ridicula et salsa At- 
ticorum commendat. Idemque in secundo de Legibus Aristophanem poetam lepi- 

dissimum veteris ComoMiia nuncupat. * * * 

• * * * 

Elegantissimis Comoediis igitur me gaudeo aliquam opem tulisse : quae quo magis 
pmats prodeunt, eo facilius intelligitur, quantum vilescant Comoedis nostrae, si 
cum iis conferantur. I'antum enim eae Comoedis, quibus feminae atque infantes- 
Bostris in theatris mirifice delectauitur, absunt ab optim& Comoediarura ratione, ut 
minim sit, nondum ingenium nostrum ne exemplo quidem Graecarum Comoediarum 
commoveri atque excitari potuisse, ut aliquid hoc quoque in genere bonum, ac dig- 
num aliqu& laude tentaret. Neque exempla mode, sed praecepta despicimus. 
Quare, etsi vir ille summus Aristoteles, ut cetera poematum genera, ita quoque 
Comoediam pvOft^ Kai /ilXci Kai app,oviq. vestiri debere doceat, eamdemque osten- 
dat, constare sibi non posse, nisi pvBfif Kai /ulXci xai pMrpt^ exornentur, hoc taraen 
omnia in Comoediis nostris aequo animo deesse sinimus, in quibus, quod mirum est. 

* See Hispala's account of these rites detailed in the thirty-ninth book of Livy's 
Roman History, cap. 13. 

1219.] THE ACHARNIANS. 157 

Die. Come, follow, shouting the triumphant strain. 
Cho. Yes, we will follow— and our song shall be. 
Thou with the sack, thy prize of victory ! 

ita erramus, ut ad extremam eae viz satyrarum nomine sine versa ac sine ornamentis 
dignas sint ; ex quibus nuUi fluunt fructus, qui uberrimi ex Comoedi& debent in 
hominom societate manare. Ita misere in theatro plaudimus et Comoediis, in queis 
frastra praecepta requires, et quibusdam desperatis poematom generibus, quibus 
non modo gravitas sententianim, verborum splendor, ceterique omatus, sed nomen 
ipsum deest." 




T A X'TTTT A ^ % domestics of BdelycUon. 



CHORUS OF OLD MEN, habited as wasps. 

BOYS, (three children of CarcinuSf dressed as crabs.) 

A DOG, (an accuser,) 





The Scene lies at Athens, in the hoiise of Philockon. 





This comedy is a satire upon the passion of the Athenians for courts 
of justice. Never was lesson more usefully given than this, and in 
a manner more likely to produce the happiest effects, but unfortu- 
nately it came too late. The passion was inveterate ; the object 
might be changed, but it could not be rooted out. This is proved 
by the fatal example of Philocleon. The wisdom, the honour, and 
prudence of the son, were not able to extinguish a feeling which ren- 
dered the father contemptible to persons of integrity, and the sport 
of a vile populace. Thjs son, worthy of the highest praise, endea- 
vours to divert his father from the love of courts, and to inspire him 
with another passion. He succeeds but too well. The father enters 
the new course of life opened to him, he carries thither his excesses, 
and all the follies which distinguished hi^ former 'tastes ; he even 
preserves the same tone and expression, and his passion in changing 
the name, still retains enough of its character to make the forensic 
propensity even more odious and ridiculous. This method, chosen 
by the son to cure his father of the mania, is shown by an inimitable 
satire against the folly of magistrates and people, who, without em- 
barrassing themselves with the consequences of a war which threatened 
the ruin of the state, were only occupied in courts and judgments. 
Upon this piece, Racine has founded his amusing comedy of Les Plai- 
deurs, the only one he wrote ; but he had many difficulties to struggle 
with, nor was it possible to render it so agreeable to the French thea- 



tre as the original was to the Greeks ; the ancient comedy being far 
more personal in its application than the modem, on account of the 
liberty allowed to the writers of that period of identifying their masks 
with living characters, which could not but be extremely agreeable 
to the malignity of the most scandalizing people that ever existed, 
causing them infinite diversion at the expense of their most eminent 
men. Such a. subject as this could only be treated properly by an 
author endued with the spirit and vis of an Aristophanes, and who 
could boast, like him, of having levelled to the earth a Cleon, the most 
dangerous and formidable of the Athenians, before he would be able 
to assume sufficient courage to turn the whole body of the republic 
into ridicule. 



SosiAS and Xanthias are discovered lying at the door of 
Bdelycleon, weighed down by sleep. 

Sos. What art about, O ill-starr'd Xanthias ! 
Xan. I*m learning to sleep out the nightly watch*. 
Sos. Truly thou ow'st thy sides some evil turn. 

Art then aware what monster thou art keeping ? 
Xan. I know it — but I fain would sleep awhile. 
Sos. llazard a nap then, since a sweet sensation 

Down my lips too is pour'd. 
Xan. In truth thou'rt mad, 

Or ravest in the Corybantian style**. 

* In the opening of this comedy, which is considered one of the least generally 
interesting of our author's productions, although the character of Philocleon is 
drawn with genuine comic spirit ; Xanthias, a domestic slave belonging to Philo- 
cleon, wearied with guarding his master's father, in company with Sosias, appears 
on the stage with eyes half closed, and slumbering through fatigue. Compare the 
similar exordium of the Agamemnon of ^schylus, where the guard who is watch" 
ing for the fires kindled to announce the return of the Grecian chief, entreats the 
gods to grant him ippovpaQ kniaQ airaXXayriv , and employs the intervals of his 
laborious and dog-like occupation in weeping for the calamities of bb master's 

•> aXX' fi 7rapa<f>pov(XQ irtbv fi lLopvfiavTiq,q, This line is given in most editions 
interrogatively — and so the French translator, " Radotes tu, ou veux tu te donner 
les airs de Corybante V* I have preferred to follow Bekker, who renders it affirm« 
atively, which appears to me more simple ; Brunck says Irthv quasOf sodas amabo, 
semper est in interrogatione — which positive assertion is, in this case, contradicted 
by the Latin version — " Profecto insanis, aut Corybantura more furere incipis." 
In the following verse, the sltimber sent from Bacchus is expressed by virvog fi £x^* 
Tig kK SajSa^tov* on which the Scholiast remarks, that Sabazius is the Thracian 
name of the si umber- giving deity, and Bergler observes that Sosias is to be 


1C4 THE WASPS. [Act i. Sc. i. 

Sos. Not I — but slumber sent from Bacchus holds me. 

Xan. Thou then dost worship the same god with me ; 10 
For lately nodding slumber, like a Mede, 
Hath o'er my eyelids press'd with adverse power, 
And I have just beheld a wondrous dream. 

Sos. I too ; such as in truth not e'er before. 
But thou relate thine first. 

Xan. There seem'd an eagle 

Of monstrous size, flying towards the forum, 
Which in its talons bore a brazen shield 
That it had snatch*d up to the distant heaven. 
And which Cleonymus soon cast away. 

Sos. Then like a riddle is Cleonymus^ 20 

But how, as some one of the guests may ask, 
Could the same beast in earth, as in the sky, 
And in the ocean, c(ist his shield away ? 

Xan. Ah me ! what evil will befall me then, 
Who've such a vision seen ? 

Sos. Regard it not ; 

For, by the gods, nought dreadful will befall. 

Xan. 'Tis strange a man should cast away his arms. 
But npw tell thiqe in turn. 

Sos. A great one 'tis ; 

Regarding the whole vessel of the state. 

Xan. Tell now the very keel of the affair**. 30 

imagined sitting in slumber, now raising and now depressing his head (yvtrraK 
r^C ^trvoQ,) Cicero, in his second book of laws, speaks of Sabazius as one of the 
new gods whom our poet unceremoniously ejects from the state — the comedy to 
which Cicero alludes is not now extant. In the twelfth verse Xanthias observes 
that nodding slumber sits on his eyelids like a Mede, alluding to the constant hos- 
tility which existed between the Persians and Greeks. The Scholiast on v. 9. 
calls this slumber pdppapog Kai (FKXfjpbc ^ttvoq* compare the Lysistrata, v. 388. : 
XW TVfnravKTfibg xol irvKvoi 2aj3a^(oi. 

^ oxf^kv apa ypiiftov dia<pep€i KXttavvfiog, The word ypi<pog properly denotes a 
fishing-net, nmsa piscatoria — hence, by an obvious metaphor, it signifies an enigma, 
which puzzles or entangles those who attempt its solution. Another name was 
wapoiviov i^rjTfjp.a, as being proposed to the guests at entertainments, by way of 
amusement. This pretended vision of the eagle snatching awa^ the shield to 
heaven, is a satirical blow aimed at Cleonymus, piypatnTig, lampooned for his cow- 
ardice in the Achartiians (v. 352.), the Peace (v. 1152.), and particularly in that 
most festive chorus of the Birds (v. 1470, sqq.) 

<* T^v rpdmv tov trpaynaroQ. Xanthias here persists in the metaphor taken 

10—40.] THE WASPS. 165 

Sos. In my first dream, Hssembled in the Pnyx, 

Together sitting, there appear 'd some sheep. 

Having their crooks and threadbare cloaks' — then 

An all-devouring whale methought addrcss'd 
The sheep, with voice of an indated sow. 

Xan. Ah me ! 

Sos. Why, what's the matter? 

Xan. Cease, cease, speak not. 

This dream emells vilely of corrupted hides. 

Sos. The odious monster then took scales and weigh'd 
The bullock's fat. 

Xan. Ah, wretched me! he wishes 

To separate the people. 

Sos. Now Theorus 40 

Appear'd to me u|>on the ground to sit. 
Nearer than she, bearing a raven's head ; 
Then Alcibiades said lispingly^, 
" Thee'st thou ? — Theoius has a raven's head." 


From a ship, which he had begun to use 

in the preceding 

line. Com pi 

ire .Eschylus 

^vli. aJTheb. ..2, a.)— 

Btrnc *>vX<itro« irp5 

yoc iv TrpVvo tt 

on v/ith the i 
in Horace': 

oiata vmflUv. 
Perhaps the best auauined allegory of 

Bea is very coram 
this Lind is that 

4 graphic ode 

"ONavis, referent 
Fluclus, «c." 

in mare ta nuvi 

' This speech of Sosias coalaina a i 

)f for the purpose of acquiring gain. 
Horace does the Romans of his lime, on 
irpo^riSjfe), (el ingeniuoi pecnlinum, 

an hffic anin 

Quum lemel imbuerit. 
Posse liocHila ciJio, el 

levere satire upon his old enemy Cleon, for 
IS stratigems wliich he constantly made use 
lie likewise censurei the Athenians, as 
I account of Ihair fondneBS for money (t-6 
. seeHorat. BdPisou.330.)— 
los Ecrugo et cura peculi 
speiamus carniina 6ugi 
.levi servanda cupre:^^u1 

' 'I'hia passage is particularly uuli<:ed 

1 by Plutarch in 1 

Ilia life of til 

Alheniau, as well as aome verses of Arcliippus, who affirms that AlciLiiades bent 
bii neck and lisped in imilaliou of his father. Cliuiaa — Kolai (v. 4S.) is mispro- 
nonnced by him for t6pai, since a lisping Atheoiaii would confuse the X and p. 
Tliii change of coaaouants also Oigrees with Ihe character ofUheurus, which waa 
that of a meaa tiatteier, as appears from two liaei of the chorus (418, 19.) 

166 THE WASPS. [Act u Sc. i. 

Xan. This rightly Alcibiades lisp'd out. 

Sos. Was not that strange^ Theorus made a crow ? 

Xan. By no meansj but quite proper. 

Sos. How so ? 

Xan. . How ? 

Being a man, he straight became a crow. 

And might it not then clearly be conjectur'd. 

That, taken from us, to the crows he'll go ? 50 

Sos. Would I not with two oboli requite 

The gift thus wisely to interpret dreams ? 
Xan. Now let me speak a word to the spectators. 

Suggesting to them first this short advice. 

To look for nothing very great from us — 

From Megara not any stolen jests S; 

For we have neither slaves who cast about 

To the spectators nuts from a rush basket'' ; 

Nor Hercules, defrauded of his supper ; 

Nor saucily lampoon'd Euripides. 60 

Nor if by fortune's favour Cleon shine 

Again, will we, like salad, mince him up. 

But yet our subject is a witty one, 

Though to y6ur wisdom not indeed superior, 

Yet wiser than insipient comedy ; 

For this our lord is he that sleeps above. 

In all his vastness, underneath the roof. 

He hath commanded us to guard his father. 

Constraining him from issuing out of doors. 

f Aristophanes, according to Fl. Christianus, seems to inveigh against certain^ 
foolish and loquacious poets of Megara, where, according to Aristotle (Poet. c. 3.), 
the rude and licentious old comedy originated. The Scholiast quotes the following 
line from Eupolis (UpoffiraXTiotg) in confirmation of this character given them 
by the great dranoatic critic — 

rb frK&nii aaiKykQ Kai JAeyapiKbv a^oSpa, 

^ The comic poets, as Brunck observes, for the sake of exciting laughter and 
conciliating the favour of the audience, were in the habit of causing nuts and 
sweetmeats to be scattered to ^e audience by one of tlie actors, a practice censured 
by Plutus, in the comedy of that name (v. 797.), as foolish, and unbecoming the 
comic poet (oif 'TrpeTrtHSeg rt^ SiSaaKoXtft.) The traditional voraciousness of Her- 
cules also presented a fund of unceasing merriment on the Athenian stage, of which 
several examples occui ia Aristophanes^ 

50—90.] THE WASPS. 

Who labours under a. strange iHaktly, 
That none can understand, or even guess. 
Unless we tell you what it is — do you 
Conjecture, if you don't believe our words. 
Now this Amynias, son of Pronapus, 
Calls it the love of dice — but he says nought. 

Sos. By Jove, he guesses at it from himself. 

Xan. Not so — but from this love begins the mischief. 
And Sosias here declaresto Dercylos 
That he is fond of liquor'. 

Sos. By no means ; 

Since that is the disease of honest men. 

Xan. Nicostratus of the Scambonian burgh '" 
Declares that he was fond of sacrifices, 
Or hospitality. 

Sos. Nay, by the dog, 

Not hospitable, O Nicostratus, 
Since a debauch'd man was Philoxenus. 

Xan. In vain you prate, for you'll not find it out; 
But if you wish to know, be silent now — 
For I will now declare my lord's 
He is enamour'd tike no other man. 
Of judgments in the open air, and n 
Unless he has a seat on the first bench ; 
But sees not the least wink of sleep all night : 

< Bmack imagiaei that XnDHhius here addresses Sosias bj name, and tliat ufii 
refers to soice oae among the spcclalors who is giving his opinioa respectiag the 
cause of his roaster's malady — to Dercylos, a vintaer, according to some, but olliers 
say that he was a comic actor. laveruiiius is opposed to this notion, and gives 
the line as it appears in the common edjtinns. So the French translator — ^"et voila 
quelqu'un, on Sosie, cjui dit a Dercylus, c'est la maois de la hoi^son." This 
reading appears to roe more obvious and natural. 

^ This burgh, according to the Seboliast, belonged Id the tribe J^onlis. The 
word ftXaOiiTtie is also iotcrprclGd by him to denote a superstitious man, vrlio 
imagines that by constantly sacrificing to the goda he shall be rendered free from 
all evil. 'J'he adjuration of Sosias in the next line, /la rov kvv', is doubtless in- 
tended in ridicule of tho customary oath of Socrates, ruv Kiva xal x^fa (see the 
Birdi, V. 521.) No doubt the great philosopher swore pA Zijva, ftu Jvpiter. The 
Scholiast on Ibis passage says that Hhadamanthus, king of Crete, forbade his sub- 
jects to swear bii the gods, and commanded that oaths should be made lig animals 


168 THE WASPS. [Act i. Sc. i. 

For should he nod, short as the time may be, 

His mind by night flies to the clepsydra' ; 

And so much is he us'd to grasp the lots. 

He rises holding his three fingers out. 

As offering frankincense at the new moon™. 

And should he see it writ on any door, 

" Handsome is Demos, Pyrilampus' son," 

He goes and writes, "fair is the ballot-box^" 100 

The very cock who crow'd at even-tid^. 

He said awaken'd him so late, persuaded 

By bribes of money taken from the culprits ; 

And straight from supper he demands his shoes. 

Then going thither, long ere dawn, he sleeps 

Sound as a shellfish, clinging to a column ! 

Then tracing the condemnatory letter®. 

Long mark foi: all, in his severity, 

He enters like an humble bee, that bears 

Beneath her claws the fabricated wax. 110 

And fearing lest the pebbles e'er should fail. 

That he may have wherewith to make decrees. 

He keeps some sand within, so mad is he ; 

And tho' incessantly admonished, still 

This judging fit possesses him the more^^ 

* For a description of this judicial fountain or water-glass, see the Birds, v. 1695, 
and the note on that passage. 

"'It was customary with the Athenians at the time of the new moon to give in- 
cense to the images and statues, which appears to have been done with three fingers, 
the thumb, the first, and middle, with which the judges were wont to hold the con- 
demnatory or acquitting pebbles. (Fl. Christ.) 

■> Plutarch, in his life of Pericles, mentions Pyrilampos, as an intimate friend of 
that illustrious Athenian, remarkable for his collection of curious birds, and par- 
ticularly of peacocks, whose son. Demos, was a young man of extreme beauty. 
There is in the Greek a jeu de mots which cannot be preserved in the translation — 
Arjiiov KaXbv (or, as it would be written on the walls, Arjfiog KoXbg* Krifibg 
KaXoQ' compare Acharn. 143 — 145.) *' Est autem Ktifibg quasi infundibulum, per 
quod in urnas immittebantur calculi.'* — Bergler. 

® Tifiwv TT^v fiaKpdv. Among the Greeks ypafifir^ fnaKpd was the letter of con- 
demnation, ppaxiia of absolution — (Fl. Christ.) fiergler says that the judges 
drew a long line in wax when they intended to condemn. 

9 This line is from the Sthenobaea of Euripides (Frag. ii. apud Musgr.) excepting 

100—130.] THE WASPS. 169 

On this account we bindand bolt him in, 
Lest he should issue fortb^for heavily 
His son endures a father's malady. 
And first he tries with words of admonition 
To binder him from bearing his short cloak, 120 

And going out of doors — but be obeys not. 
He purg'd and cleans'd him then— slill to no purpose. 
Next purified by Corybantian rites'"; 
Then on he rushes with the tympanum. 
And falls to judicate in tlie new forum'". 
But not advantag'd by these mysteries, 
Sail'd towards ^gina — and by night convey'd 
His sire to rest in jEscalapius' fane ; 
And while yet dark, appearing at the casement, 
• No longer we permit him thence to stir. 130 

But through the water-convses he ran out, 
And through the drains — then all the perforations 
We stopp'd with rags, or clos'd them up with wedges ; 
But, like a jackdaw, be bor'd through the wall, 
And then leap'd out — meanwhile we guard the room 
With nets extended in a circle round^ 
Philoeleon's the name of the old man, 
And of the son, by Jove, Bdeiycleon, 
Possessing certain supercilious manners*. 

that in tbe tragedy, the verse ends with ipaig, and in Aristophanes nilh ail. 1'he 
next line ia fi-om the Andromache of Ihe same poet, v. 942.— 

1 itira tioit' itopaliavTiC, 1 he comic humour of this passage is very striliing, 
as if the madness of the Cory bastes were slight in compirisan of Philoeleon's, or that 
it were trell taken in exchange for his foiensic insanity. For /lEru tavra Inver- 
niiius reads rovro, hut, as it appears to me, without sufiicient reason for the alter- 

' — — lis TO Kaivor — *iil. SucaOTtiptov oue of the places in the number of 
tribunals or judicial forums ivliich eiisted at Athens — the others being named, ac- 
cording to the Scholiast, ■trapa^bnTOQ, rplyaivog, /liaog. 

" TpoiTov^ ppvayftoirefivatovc Tivoc- This epilhet is derived by the Scho- 
liast d?ro TUB i^pvs S •fpiajiia, jcai fftfiviiv where Bentley proposes to read d^pu- 
aT/fioaifivolivaTmoic, Bergler, who is often treated with such coalempt by 
Brunck, reads H0piiuy/io(re(i['off(/iv«out rivue. 

no THE WASPS. [Act i. Sc. ii. 


Efiter Bdelycleon and Philocleon. 

Bde. Sleep you, O Xanthias, and Sosias ? 140 

[In a threatening voice, 
Xan. Ah me ! 
Sos. What is't ? 

Xan. Bdelycleon is rising. 

Bde. (Looking from the window,) Will not one of you in all 
haste run hither ? 

For now my sire is come into the chimney*, 

With mouselike step descending — but observe ; 

Lest thro^ the bathing-vessers hole he glide. 

And thou lie at the door. 
Sos. 'Tis done, O master. 

Bde. King Neptune, what a noise is in the flue ! 

Who are you there ? 
Phi. The smoke that issues forth. 

Bde. Smoke ? let me know of what wood ? 
Phi. Of the iig-tree. 

Bde. By Jupiter, the sharpest of all smokes. 150 

But will you not rush down ? where is the lid ? 

Come back again — I'll raise you up a bench. 

Now seek henceforth some other machination. 

But I am wretched, like no man beside, 

Who shall be called the son of father smoke". 
Sos. (to Xan.) Boy, push the door — press well and man- 

For I am coming thither too — take care 

Of lock and bar, lest he eat through the bolt. 

' tig TOP lirvov tiaiXrikvQiv, So the French translator — mon p^re est entr6 dans 
Ja chemin6e. iirvbg Kvpiwg j} Kafiivog' Schol. Hence uJischylus (P. V. v. 365.) 
says — 

iirvovfitvog piZc^Kriv Alrvaiaig vtto. 

■ warpbg Kawviov. This word is formed like "Srafiviov (^Frogs, v. 22.), Srpou- 
^g. (Birds, v. 1077.). Kexrivaiog (Knights, v. 1260.), etc. The Scholiast adds 
that according to some authors, Kdirviag denoted a wine made at Beneventum in 
Italy, and that Kawvia also signified a vine. 

}40— 180.] THE WASPS. 171 

Phi. What will ye do ? — O detestable wretches. 

May I not come into the court? — But shall 160 

Dracontides escape''? 
Bde. And would this grieve you ? 

Phi. Yes, truly — for of old when I consulted 

The Delphian god, he prophesied whene'er 

A culprit should escape from my decree, 

I then must perish. 
Bde. O Apollo, god 

Who ward'st off evil, what a prophecy ! 
Phi. Come, let me out, I beg thee — lest I burst ! 
Bde. By Neptune, I will not, Philocleon. 
Phi. Then I will gnaw the net through with my teeth. 
Bde. But thou hast now no teeth. 
Phi. O wretched me\ 1 70 

How shall I slay thee ? — how ? — give me a aword 

Without delay, or damnatory tablet. 
Bde. This man will do thee some great injury. 
Phi. Not I, by Jove — I only wish to sell 

An ass and panniers — for 'tis the new moon* 
Bde. Then could not I too sell it ? 
Phi. Not as I. 

Bde, No, but on better terms, by Jupiter. 

But bring your donkey out. 

[Exit Philocleon, £w if /or the ass. 
Xan. What a pretence 

He urges ! how ironically made. 

For you to send him out ! 
Bde. But he draws nothing, 180 

This way at least : for I perceived his tricks — 

But I will enter, and bring out the donkey. 

Lest the old man stoop, and again escape. 

[Philocleon enters with the ass, to which 

Bdelycleon speaks. 

Ass, wherefore weepest thou ? because to-day 

^ This maD, as the Scholiast informs us, was a detestable wretch, many times 
convicted, as Plato declares in his Sophists, Callistratus calls hira one of the thirty 
tyrants, or one of the same appellation^ who published a psepbism concerning oli* 

172 THE WASPS. [Act I. Sen. 

Thou must be sold ? march out with brisker pace. 

Groanest thou not to carry an Ulysses ? 
Xan. But he, by Jove, bears some one underneath 

Bde. Whom? let's see. 

Xan. This man. 

Bde. What's this ? 

Truly, who art thou, man ? 
Phi. No one, by Jove^ 

Bde. No one ? Whence art thou ? 
Phi. From Drasippides, 190 

Of th' Ithacensian tribe. 
Bde. By Jupiter, 

Outis, you shall not joy in yoUr no name ; 

Drag him up quickly — O most odious wretch — 

He is in such a manner underhaul'd, 

As to appear most like an ass's colt. 
Phi. Unless you let me quietly depart, 

We will contest the point. 
Bde. Concerning whatt 

Will you then fight with u6 ? 
Phi. a donkey's shadow*. 

Bde. "Thou art a crafty counterfeiting knave. 
Phi. I crafty ? — No, by Jove — yet thou know'st not 200 

How excellent I am ; but wilt perchance, 

When thou devourest an old judge's caul". 

y o^ric, vj) Ala. Taken from the story of Polyphemus, in the Odyssey, 

iz. 365 — 408. and 431. Drasippides is a fictitious name as if of a family, people, 
or tribe, formed, ^Lirh rov &7rodpa(rat, from running away. 

* Trepi ovov <rjctai;. A proverbial expression, similar to ovov irdKeg (Frogs, v. 
186.), signifying nothing or no where. The Scholiast has a very long note on the 
same words, in which he says that Menander quotes this proverb in his Enchiridion, 
and that Archippus wrote a comedy entitled ovov CKia, 

* viroydffTpiov ylpovTog jjXiacrriicov. Fat donkeys appear to have been esteemed 

great delicacies by the ancients. The word viroydtrrpiov is used to denote any 

choice food. So Horace (£p. i* 15. 40.) — 

cum sit dbeso 

Nil melius tardo, vulv& nil pulchrius aropl&. 
In the next line, we may, with the Scholiast, understand Bdelycleon to address the 
first part (JaOu rov ovov) to his domestic slave, and the latter {koi (ravrbv) to his 

190— glO.] THE WASPS. 17S 

Bde. Impel your ass and self into the house. 
Phi. O fellow judges, and thou, Cleon, help''! 
Bde. Bawl out within there, since the door is clos'd ; 

Heap up against it several of the stones, 

And put once more the bar and bolt together". 

Bringing a huge high mortar to the beam, 

Roll it, and fasten it together close. 
Sos. Ah wretched met whence falls the clod upon me? 210 
Xan. Perhaps a mouse hath from some quarter thrown it. 
Sos. A mouse ? Not so, by Jove — hut 'tis some judge 

Who creeps beneath the tiling of the roof. 
Xan. Ill-fated me ! the man becomes a sparrow — 

Soon will he fly away — where, where's my net ? 

Away, again away"! 
Bde. By Jupiter, 

'Twere better for me to preserve Scione', 

ftther. Or more naturally, with Fl. ChrislianQs, imagine that the whole lino Is 
directed to Fhilocleon maonted on his asa. 

" u awhtaarai tat KXiwv, a/iiraTt. So Cleon, in the Knights (v. 255.), 

il yipoi'T-K; iiXiaarai, ^paroplQ rpiui^oXov. 
The aid of Cleon is here invoiied, as well as Ihat of the judges, both because Fhi- 
locleon was fond of law, and as being a lover of Cleon (^iXacXcuii'), wbicb. as Fl. 
Christianus observes, appears to sigoi^ the same as 0iXo/iiir0oc. eince it seems that 
he was aecuslomed to pay the judges their salary of the three oboli a day, out of 
which trifling sum they were to supply themselves with provision and fuel (see v. 
300, etc.) 

° I have here adopted Bruoek's reading, TpSvSci, for the common, irpoaOiic, 
which, as he observes, exhibits one oF two participles joined to an imperative, ad- 
hering without any grammatical connection. 

'' aov, aou, iraXiti aoo. This is most probably put for noiiaSi, as In v. 436, 
where Sosias saya to Xanthiaa— 

ouyt aoSaff ; oiiK is xiparac ; 

» This was a very ancient cily of Thrace, under the dominion of Pallene, 
and had been strongly garrisoned by Ihc Athenians; bu! in Ihe Peloponoesian 
war the inbabitants reiolled to Brasidss, the Spartan general, who was at length, 
killed fighting with Cleoo, as appears in thi Peace of Aristophanei. There is much 
doubt among the comirenlBtors whether this lioe should belong to Xanthias or to 
Bdelycleon ; Brunck gives it to the latter, Jlotibius contends that it properly 
beloDgs to the former — the mention of Sciane, at which slaves were not permitted to 
fight, seems to coofirm the opnion of Bruncli. Scioae was besieged by Ihe Alhe- 
Dlann in llie ninth year of Ihe war <see Tbucyd. iv. cm.) P, Mela (Geog. ii, 2.) 
says that it was built by the Greeks after the capture of Troy. 

174 THE WASPS. [Act i. Sc. n. 

Instead of such a father. 

Sos. Come now, since 

We've moor'd him off, nor can he any more 
Slip thorough and elude us, why not take 220 

A very little sleep ? 

Bde, But, O thou wretch. 

His fellow-judges will full soon arrive. 
And call upon the father. 

Sos. What say'st thou ? — 

But 'tis as yet deep dawn ^ 

Bde. 'Tis so, by Jove. 

For now they rise up late, and from midnight 
Arouse him, holding lamps and trilling strains 
Of old Sidonian Phrynic melody*. 
With which they summon him. 

Sos. Wherefore, if needful. 

We'll pelt them now with stones. 

Bde. But, O thou wretch. 

The race of old men, if one make them angry, 230 
Is like a wasp's nest ; for they have a sting 
Of sharpest point, depending from behind, 
With which they prick, and shouting out, they leap. 
And throw themselves up like a spark of fire. 

Sos. Be not you troubled — if I have but stones, 
I will disperse a nest of many judges. 

Chorus of Old Men and Children. 
Cho. Move firmly on. — O Comias, tarriest thou^? 

' aWd vvv 6p9pog paOvg, So Plato (in Critone — sub init.) wrjviKa fiaKiora ; 
KP. op^poQ paOvg. 

ff I'his is expressed by Aristophanes, after his manner, in one word, &pxaiont' 
XrjtTiStovoippvvix'npctTa* which is composed, according to the Scholiast, of these 
five — ipxaiov fitkog 'SidQvoc ^pvvixov and ^parov* or, according to Aristarchus, 
/ilXc instead of fieXog* 

^ The chorus here enters as if going into the forum for the purpose of determining 
lawsuits. Comias, Carinades, and Strymodorus are the names of some of the 
choral old men. They were represented with masks imitating the forms of wasps, 
together with the sting hanging behind them ; in other respects they resembled 
human figures. 

220—260.] THE WASPS. 175 

By Jove, tliou wast ere tliis a tough dog's liitle ; 

But now Charinades is the best walker. 

O Strymodorus, born at Contliylus', 2t0 

Thou best oFjudges, is Euergidea 

Any where here, or Chabes the Phlyensian? 

Yes he is here — bravo, bravisslmo ! 

The relics of that youth, which in Byzantium'' 

Erst signahz'tl itself when thou and I, 

Prowling by night, stole from the baker's wife 

Her mortar, cleft and cook'd our potherbs with it. 

But hasten, friends, for now 'tis Laches' turn'. 

Since all men say he has a hive of wealth. 

So Cleon, yesterday, the governor, 250 

Commiasion'd us to come in time, and bring 

'Gainst him a three days' bitter indignation, 

To punish his injustice. — But, my friends, 

Let's hasten on, ere yet 'lis perfect day — . 

Let us proceed, and with a light explore ■ 

In all directions, lest a subtle one M 

At unawares surprise and injure us, 

Chi. O father, father, uf this mud beware ! 

Clio. Take from the ground some straw, and snuff the light. 

Chi. No, but I think to simff it with my finger. 2G0 

Cho. Whence bast thou learn'd the wick to finger so? 
And that in lack of oil, O senseless man ? 
It moves thee not, that we must buy it dear. 

' A burgh of Atlica, belonging either to the Plolemiiic or Paudionian tribe. 

'' TiiiB wa> the time ia which Pausaniaa, son of Cleonbrotus, a Laced smODiati, 
was sent out as general- in -chief af the Grecian forces, in order lo Itnisli the Persian 
war (Thucyd. i. 9*.) 

' The eiptession here is singularly elliplical — uie larai AiixijTi rvvi- i. e. ac- 
cording lo the Scholiast, i) SUti, Q Ti/iuipla, !i toiobtov n. Laches vbe the sd- 
rairat of (he fleet of twenty ships sent into Sicily with QDOther commander, Cha- 
rxailes, and, oa the latter being treacherously slaio. Laches, here satirized under 
the name of the dog I^hes, who stole the Sicilian chmse (sea v. 894, etc.), suc- 
ceeded 10 the command. He was noted for filling the patrimonial hive with wealth 
gathered together by universal peculation, and might say with the philosophical 
poet LucreliuB (iii. IL) — 

Floriftrls nt apes in saUibus omnia libant, 


176 THE WASPS. [Act i. Sg. ii. 

Cht. By Jove, if you admonish us again 

With knuckle-raps, we will put out the lamps, 

And straight go home ; then wanting this perchance. 

Darkling and quail-like, thou wilt stir the mud« 

Cho. Truly I punish greater men than thou ; 
But as I walk, in mud I seem to tread ; 
Nor can it be but in four days at most, 270 

The god must of necessity rain down, 
So much the snuffs have grown upon these candles; 
And when 'tis so, great rains are wont to fall. 
Besides, the fruits that are not early ripe 
Have need of water, and the northern blast. — 
But what hath happened to our fellow judge, 
Who dwells in this house, that he comes not forth 
To join our multitude ? — he was not us'd 
Ere this to move on like a vessel tow'd"*. 
But went before us, singing Phrynichus, 280 

Since he is fond of songs — but, O my friends, 
I think we should stand here and summon him. 
That he may listen to our melody. 
And creep out at the door for very pleasure; 
But wherefore does he not appear to us ? 
Nor give a sign of hearing ? — has he lost 
His shoes ? or struck his toes on some dark corner ? 
So as to make the old man's ancle swell ? 
Perhaps bis groin ? for he was once the sharpest 
Of all our train, and not to be persuaded ; 290 

But when by any he was supplicated. 
Thus stooping down, "you'll cook a flint," he'd say**; 
And haply, thro' the man of yesterday, 

"* oif iir^ TTpb Tov y* kfj^oXxbc fjv. The metaphor in this line is taken from a 
small boat called l^oXicic or XefijSo^, towed in the rear of a larger ship, from being 
attached, as it were, to the greater hulk. 

' ■ \i9ov t^j/itg. This is a proverbial expression applied to those who spend their 
labour upon rain endeavours, such as washing an ^thiop white, writing on the 
water, casting seed upon the sea-shore, (see Ovid. Ep. Her. v. 115.) 
Quid facis, iEnore 1 quid arenas semina mandas 1 
Non profecturis littora bubus aras. 
or, as in this passage, dressing a stone to make it palatable, and similar unprofit- 
able tasks. 

270—310.] THE WASPS. 

Who cheated lis by shpping thro' our hands, 
Saying how much he was the Athenians' friend, 
And that he first declar'd what passed at Samos", 
Grieving at this he now lies sick of fever. 
For such a man he is : but, O my friend, 
Rise up, nor thus consume thyself with grief. 
For some rich man of those who have betray'd 300 
The Thracian state comes hither. Him you may 
Destroy at wiil^ ; advance, my boy, advance. 
Boy, O Father, will you gratify my wish. 

Should I prefer one ? 
Cho. By all means, O child : 

But say what pretty plaything do you wish 
That I should purchase ? you will ask, methinks, 
A set of chessmen. 
Boy. No, by Jove, papa. — 

But figs, for they are more agreeable, 
Cho. Not them, by Jove — although you hang yourselves. 
Boy. Then I will not conduct you any longer. 310 

Clio. I must from my judicial salary, 

For us three, purchase pudding, wood, and fish. 
And askest thou me for figs? 
Boy. Come now, O sire. 

If now the archon do not sit in judgment. 
Whence shall we buy a dinner? hast thou for us 
" Alluding to the war between ihe Milesiaas and Samiaos on account of Fiiene, 
as relalsd b; ThucyJidcs in his fitsl hooli, cap. ov., civi., when the former being 
inretior, applied for aid Id the Atheniaai, who seal them fnity-sui ships under the 
comraaod of Pericles, son of Xitnthippus, by whom the city was taken, and a popu- 
lar government established, hostages having been rei^elved and placed at Lemnos. 
I'he SamiaDB afterwards revolied to the king of Persia, and had their walls raied to 
the ground. 

r The word in the original is here very remarkable— B* Biroit ijx'"'P'"t- The 
SchoUaat eiplaina it in the sense of destroying — livrl roi if DuiirrHj- and says it is 
a metaphor taken from the custom of exposing children, Iv X'''''P'"Si ^^^ thai (he 
word is used, in this sense, by Sophocles in his tragedy of Priam, as well as by 
^schylus and Pherecratei. Florens Chrislianus compares the tine of Ennius de- 
scribing care, 

QuiE nunc le coquit et versat in pectore fixa — (see v. 2B6.) 
ftqf dOruc OEavrav taOit, in the line above, is used in the seme of TrXouoiac, so 
in the Place, (v. 638.) 

VOL. II. "S 

178 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Any good hope, or Helle's sacred pass**? 
Cho. Alas, alas ! by Jupiter, I know not 

Whence we shall have a dinner. 
Boy. Wherefore then, 

O wretched mother, hast thou brought me forth, 

To give me the hard task of finding food ? 3^0 

Cho. Thou wert, O sack, an useless grace to me. 
Boy. Ah ! ah ! 'tis our hard fortune to bewail. 


Philocleon, Chorus. 

Phi. My friends, long since with grief I pine away. 

Listening your lamentations through the window. 

But I've no power to sing. What shall I do ? 

For I am watch'd by them — since of old time 

With your assistance, I have wish'd to come 

To the judicial urn and do some ill. 

But, O thou loudly-thundering Jupiter, 

Change me o'the instant into smoke — or make me 330 

As Proxeniades, or Sellus' son, 

Who boasts and bounces like a crackling vine '. 

4 The latter part of this line is, according to the Scholiast, taken from Pindar, 
whose words are TravSdfiaTi fikv virtpirovTiov 'EXXdf nSpov Upbv, where the 
boy, with a confusion of ideas natural to his age, uses the word nSpov for wopur^bv, 
provision, sustenance. This blunder would have a good effect on the comic stage : 
although the opinion of the French translator is decidedly and very unusually in 
opposition to that of Brunck. 

"■ TovTov Tov \j/tv5afidfia^ov» This word properly denotes a kind of vine, also 
called dvadevSpag, the wood of which crackles and bounces in the fire, hence ap- 
plied to denote the high -swelling and mendacious discourse of iEschines the son 
of Sellus, from whom came the verb (rcXXi^eiv, of the same signification as dXa^O' 
vtvtffOatf to boast in a vain-glorious manner. In v. 459, he is called sm4>kef and 
his father is denominated Selartius. So in the line above, 

rl fit TTOTjaov 
Kairvhv k^ai^vriQ* 

or, as Hotibius arranges the verse, K^'/ii iroriaovt k, e. This fine anaptestic stanza 
appears to be parodied from iEschylus, (P. v. 582. etc. ed. Porson.) 

Trvpt iptXeKov, fj x^ovl KoXvypov, rj 
TTovTioig dcLKefft dog fiopdv 

320—350.] THE WASPS. 179 

Pity my lot, O king, and deign to favour. 

Or into ashes with thy red-hot bolt 

Reduce me quickly — and when thou hast slain me, 

Melt with a blast into warm vinegar — 

Or make a stone whereon they count the lots. 
Cho. But who is it that shuts the door against yoa? 

Tell us ; for you will speak to friendly ears. 
Phi. My son — ^but call not loud — for he by chance 340 

Sleeps in the vestibule — depress your tone. 
Cho. What would this conduct hinder you from doing ? 

Or what is his pretence ? 
Phi. He will not, friends, 

Permit me to give judgment, or do harm; 

But is prepared to feast me— this I will not. 
Cho. And did this wretch, who scorns the crowd, and Cleon, 

Dare thus to gape •, because you speak the truth 

Touching the galleys? 
Phi. This man ne'er had ventured 

To say so, were he not a sworn ally. 
Cho. But 'tis full time to seek some new device, 350 

Which may cause you, without his privity. 

To come down hither. 
Phi. And what can that be ? 

One might be almost tempted to imagine, against the positive dictum of Farmer, 
that Shakspeare had one or both of these passages before him when he makes 
Othello exdaim 

Blow me about in winds ! roast me in sulphur ! 
Wash me in steep down gulfs of liquid fire, etc. 

(Othello, Act V. Sc. ii.) 
Bergler compares Sophocles, (Trachin. 1104.) 

ivtreifrov J Vo$, ^yicara<Ticj|t(/ov jSlXof, 

vdnp, Kepavvov* 
• Instead of ArifioKoyoKXkufv, in the former of these two lines, Keiske proposes 
to read Aji/aojcXovojcXIwv or Aiy/ioycXojcXiwv ; denoting either one who strikes or 
who derides the people and Cleon at the same time, a description which appears to 
agree better with the character of Bdelycleon. The word ArjfiokoyoKXkiov, the 
Scholiast says, denotes one who affects tyrannic sway, and is applied to signify the 
disposition to harangue, by which Cleon deceived the people. By the mention of 
ships is to be understood the furnishing triremes for the public service, and by 
KvvafiSrriQ, (v. 346.) the chorus insinuates that Cleon aimed at the dissolution of 
the popular form of government ; an odious accusation which was made on everf 
slight pretence. 

180 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Seek ye — since I'd do any thing, so fain 

Am I to make a passage through the boardSf 

And come down with the shell. 
Cho. Is there a hole, 

Within which you may dig, and then creep through 

In rags enveloped, like the crafty king ^ ? 
Phi. 'Tis guarded on all sides, there is no hole 

So large as to admit a creeping ant. 

But you must seek some other remedy ; 360 

For hole there cannot be. 
Cho. Remember you 

When Naxos was subdu'd, how on the wall 

Fixing the stolen spits, thou brought'st thyself 

Directly down? 
Phi. I do, but what of that, 

Since there is no resemblance 'tween the two ? 

For I was then a young and vigorous robber, 

Guarded by no one, but allow'd to flee 

Securely ; whereas men array'd in arms 

Now keep a watch on all my passages, 

While two of them are stationed at the doors 370 

Guarding me, spit in hand, even like a weasel. 

That has purloin'd some flesh. 
Cho. But now provide. 

Quickly as possible, some machination ; 

For morn approaches, O my honied friend. 
Phi. 'Tis then my best plan to eat through the net, 

And may Dictynna pardon me the deed ! 
Cho. This is the part of one who acts for safety. 

But move your jaw on. 
Phi. It is quite gnaw'n thro' ; 

By no means shout, but let us take good care. 

Lest by Bdelycleon we be perceiv'd. 380 

Cho. Fear nothing, friend, fear nought— 'since I will make him. 

If he at all should mutter, gnaw his heart, 

' L e. Ulysses. paKtciv Kpv^Oilg (Strwip TroXvfitiTig *Odv<T(nvg' the v is added 
to pcLKtffi in order to lengthen the final syllable, as in the Thesmophor, (450.) iv 
raitriv rpayi^UauQ* on which passage Brunck obsenres that it is one of those artU 
prascripto corrigendi. 

360—400.] THE WASPS. 

And for his life contenJ, that he may learn 
To trample not upon mysterious rites 
Of the two goddesses : but thro' the window 
Fis a small rope, and bind yourself therewith, 
Fill'd with the ardent soul of Diopeithes". 

Phi. Come now, if they perceiving us should seek 
To drag me back and make me enter in, 
Wliat would you do ? — now tell me. 390 

Cao. We would assist you, calhng up a heart. 
Stout as a holm-oak, so that they shall not 
Have power to keep you in — this will we do. 

Pur. Then will I come down, trusting to your aid ; 
And recollect, should any thing befall me, 
Bear me in tears, and place beneath the bar. 

Cho. You shall not suffer aught — be not afraid — 
But come down boldly, having first address'd 
Your country's gods in prayer. 

Phi. O LycuB, lord, 

And neighb'ring hero ", since thou'rt always pleas'd. 

As I, with tears and groans of the condemn'd, 401 

Thou comest here to dwell with fix'd intent 

To sit and listen to the weeper's cry. 

The only one of heroes thus inclin'd, 

Pity and save now thy near votary ! 

So will I ne'er defile thy guarded image ! 

Bde. Kise up there. 

Sos. What's the need! 

Bde. Some voice, I think, 

Murmurs around me. 

Sos. Creeps the old man out 

At any corner? 

" Tbis was the name of a distinguished ihetoiician living at that tims, and is 
mentioned again in Ife Knighlt. (v. 1081.) and in the Frogs, (v. 988.) 

> i.ycus »as the son of fandion, whom Pliilocleoa here face^ously names his 
tutelar heio. and whose image appears, (a have been placed in the judicial fornm 
at Athens, which he here pledges himself to hold ia deep and unwonted reverence, 
(see V. 416, and compare Pertius, Sat. i. 114.) This statue was protected from 
the access of the profane by a hedge of slakes and willow twigs (see v. 394.) For 
another preservative against the injuriei thai might be caused by the birds, or bad 
weather, see lie BiVrfj, (1114— 1188.) 

182 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Bde. No, by Jupiter ; 

But having bound himself with ropes, descends. 410 

Sos. O most detestable ! what doest thou ? 
Thou never wilt come down. 

Bde. Go quickly up, 

And strike the window on the other side 
With olive-boughs, that he may veer his stern ^. 

Phi. Will you not come to aid me, who this year 
Must have a lawsuit, O Smicythio, 
Tisiades, Chremo, and Pheredipnus? 
And when, if not now, will you succour me, 
Ere 1 am yet more roughly dragg'd within ? 

Cho. Tell me, why are we loath to stir that bile, 420 

Which we excite as oft as any one 
Provx)kes the wasps* nest? now extend the lash, 
In all its sharpness, for his punishment. 
But, children, having cast away your garments 
With all despatch, run, shout, tell this to Cleon, 
And order him to come, as to a man 
Who hates our city % and is doomed to perish. 
For telling us that we must not try suits. 

Bde. O friends, give ear awhile, nor shout aloud. 

Cho. By Jove, to heaven I'll shout, nor let him off. 4*30 

Bde. Is not this dreadful and plain tyranny ? 

Cho. O citizens, O hatred to the gods, 

Borne by Theorus, and whatever abettor 

y rjv 7r«c rrpvftvav AvaKpovtri^Tai, wXi^ydg raig tiptaiiiivaig. The phrase irpvyL' 
vav KpovffaffOcu properly signifies to restrain or slacken the oar, remum inhibeie. 
In this case it denotes steering the vessel with the stern towards the shore, and the 
prow to the sea; — " strike him with dry boughs, that he may be compelled to re- 
trace his footsteps and return," (Fl. Chris.) For an explanation of the word 
dpEffnovri, see the note on the Knights, v. 726. (also the Plutus, v. 1146.) Smicythio, 
Tisiades, etc., are different members of the chorus, here addressed by Philocleon. 

* Dindorf expresses a confident opinion, that this and the two following lines 
were not written by Aristophanes, and it must be allowed that there is considerable 
coldness in the style of them, which agrees but ill with the general spirit of the 
dialogue ; he imagines these to be the words of some interpreter, which he says the 
antistrophics at v. 468, 

ovn Tiv ix^v Trpo^atTiv, 
ovTi \6yov ii/Tpdnekov, k, r. X., 
sufficiently manifest. 

410—450.] THE WASPS. 183 

Stand up for us beside ! 

Xan. By Hercules, 

They have a sting too, — see you not, O master? 

Bde. What ? those with which he ruin'd in a lawsuit 
Philip the son o^ Gorgias ? 

Cho. And we will 

Destroy thee in like manner — but let all 
Turii hither, raise the sting, and in close order 
Strike it into him, full of rage and fury, 440 

That he may know hereafter, what a nest 
Of wasps he hath provok'd. 

Xan. By Jupiter, 

This were indeed a dire calamity. 
If we should fight, for even now I tremble 
But to behold their stings. 

Cho. Dismiss the man then; 

If not, I tell you that you will have cause 
To gratulate the tortoise on his skin. 

Phi. Come, fellow judges, O sharp-hearted wasps. 
Who in your rage attack their fundament, 
Or flying round, their eyes and fingers sting ! 450 

O Midas, Phryx, Masyntias, hither, help, 
Seize him, and trust him not to any one. 
If not, in solid fetters shall ye fast ; 
For 1 have heard the noise of many fig-leaves ". 

Cho. Dismiss him, or a sting shall be infix'd. 

Phi. O Cecrops, king and hero, dragon-footed**. 
Dost thou permit me thus to be attacVd 

• 1 his is an allusion to the proverb, voWiav lyut Bpiwv )f/60ovc iicfiKoa, signi- 
fying that such as use it care but little for the threats of any particular indi- 
vidual ; the leaves of the fig-tree crackling in the flame being an apt comparison 
for those who tumultuate with vain and windy threatenings. In this case Bdely- 
cleon fears the adverse predictions of the chorus, and merely glances at the pro- 
verb, calling upon his domestics, Midas, I'hrax, (so named from their native coun- 
try, or the conquered Persian monarchs), to assist him in seizing Philocleon. 

*> The venerable king of Athens is here called rd irpbg iroddv ApaKovridrie, in 
allusion to the fable which reported him to have been half a serpent. This allegory 
has been explained in three di£ferent ways, the most probable of which seems to be 
that he was skilled in two languages, the Greek and the Egyptian, and had the 
command over those two countries. Dracontides is also the name of a culprit or 
defendant in a criminal action, mentioned before, (v. 157.) 

184 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

By barbarous men, whom I have taught to weep 
With tears enough to fill four chaenixes ? 

Cho. Are there not many direful ills in age ? 460 

'Tis true — and now these men by force oppress 
Their ancient lord, not mindful of the skins 
And garments which he bought for them of yore, 
The hats, and wintry coverings for their feet. 
Lest they should stiffen with the cold — but nought 
Of reverence marks their eye for the old shoes ^. 

Phi. O worst of beasts ! wilt thou not yet release me? 
Unmindful when detected with stolen grapes, 
I flay'd thee well and bravely at the olive. 
So that thou wert an envied spectacle. 470 

Yet art thou thankless — but let me depart. 
All of you, ere my son haste hitherwards. 

Cho. But ample retribution for these wrongs 

Soon shall you give us — that you may perceive 

The disposition of these angry men, 

With honest looks, as if they fed on cresses. 

Bde. Strike from the house, O Xanthias, strike the wasps. 

Xan. I do, and do thou smother them with smoke. 

Sos. Will ye not off? will ye not to the crows ? 

Be off I say. — Then strike them with a stick. 480 

Xan. Burn thou, too, i^schines, Selbartius* son. 
Truly we were to move you hence at last. 

Bde. But thou, by Jove, hadst not so soon escaped them, 
Had they by chance fed on Philoclean strains ^. 

Cho. Is it not plain to all the poorer folk, 

How secretly this tyranny creeps o'er me ? 
When thou, O altogether infamous. 
And haughty follower of the proud Amyntias * 
Keepest us from the laws fram'd by the state, 

° aCddic Twv iraXauav kfiPddiov* Couzius remarks that this is said in a jocose 
manner, and vapd npoadoKtav for Ke(f>a\rf vciKaid, or something to that effect. 

'^ This line contains a satirical reflection aimed, as it appears, at a comic poet 
named Philocles, whose verses were doubtless of a harsh and crabbed nature, (see 
the Thesmophor, v. 168.) 

* Kofjtrirafivvia* A proud and haughty man, such as Amyntias, is sometimes 
distinguished by the epithet KOfiriTtigf probably from the custom of the eastern mo- 
narchs to wear long flowing ringlets. 


-510.] THE WASPS. 

t8«" ^ 

Without excuse, without a courteous woid, 


Bearing the rule alone. 


Is't possible, 

That, free from strife and shrill-ton 'd noise, we come 

To mutual speech and reconciliation ? 


To speech with thee, thou hater of the people. 
Monarchical ally of Brasidas, 
Who wearest woollen fringes, and a beard 
Unshaven nourishest ? 


By Jupiter, 
'Twere better for me not to have a father. 
Than every day to fight with ills like these ! 


You touch not yet the parsley and the rue '; 
For of proverbial speech we'll throw in this. 
Thou hast no grievance now, but when th' accuser 

Proclaims these deeds, and cites thy 'complices. 



Will you not, by the gods, decamp from me? 
I am resolved, all day, to beat and flay you. 


Nor cease, while any part of me is left; 
Since thou affect'st the way to tyranny. 


But all with you is tyranny and plotters ^ 
Howe'er th' accuser's charge be great or small. 

Which I had not heard nam'd for fifty years. 


But now 'tis far more common than salt fish. 

So that its name is bandied in the market. 

Should any one buy prickle -backs, nor wish 

Anchovies, straight the seller cries—" this man 


is is a provccbial e;[pieuioD, denoting thai an afTair is hardly begun 

; (he 

meuphor being taken from puraley and otber herb beds, which were usually planted 

■a the 

oulskirU of the garden. Instead of the common reading aoaariv. In 


vei JTDD 'iTTii', and Florens Christianus nroposea jiu 'ariv, but the usual read- 


line th 

e Scholiast assarts that the minute and vulgar character of the verses o 

f Ar. 


s is meant to be ridiculed. Perhaps that poet was fond of homely simi' 


from the kitchen garden. 

K This speech of Bdelycleon U fraught with comic humour, stid muit haw 

parliculsriy pleasant (a an Athenian audience whole jealousy of oligarchical 


ead of the dissolution of their democracy, seems to ''Imust i 


sensitive. See Thucydides, (B, vi. cap. 21.) wl 'nt 


186 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Appears to fat himself for tyranny." 

And if, moreover, he should ask a leek, 

To give a certain Best to the sea-loaches, 

With look askance, the herb-seller cries — "tell me. 

Why ask a leek ? — is it for tyranny ?- 

Or think'st thou Athens is to bring thee sauces ?" 520 

Xan. Of me too, yesternoon, the wench demanded, 
Enrag'd, because I urg'd her to ride quick, 
" If rd establish Hippias' tyranny V 

Bde. This they are pleas'd to hear — and now if I 
Wish that my father, having left the custom 
Of going to the courts at early dawn, 
Mark'd by that wretched and calumnious air. 
Should live, like Morychus, a generous life ^ ; 
I bear the blame of being urg'd to this 
By a conspiring and tyrannic temper. 530 

Phi. And justly too, by Jove, — for I would not 

Take milk of hens, in preference * to that life. 
Of which you now deprive me. I rejoice not 
In eels and thornbacks, but would rather eat 
A little judgment, in the box enclos'd. 

Bde. With these things thou wast wont to be delighted. 
But if thou wilt afford a silent ear 
To my instruction, I can prove to thee 
How much, in all these matters, thou art wrong. 

^ The former of these lines is composed of two words, 

6pQo<^oiTo(yvKo<pavTodiKOTa\ai7cuip(av rpdvuiv, 

derived from vapd t6 dpOsvuv Kai (poirav Kal ovKo^avriiv Kal kv diKaig raXai- 
iriapiiv (Scholiast). Morychus, whose generous style of living is here alluded to, 
was a tragic poet, more than once satirized by Aristophanes on account of his 
luxurious life, (see the Achamians, v. 852. the Peace, v. 973.) He is addressed by 
Plato the comic writer, cited by the Scholiast on the Clouds, v. 209. together with 
Glaucetes and Leogoras, 

01 KiJTt repTrrdv, ovSkv lv9vfioviievoi, 

* The expression 6pvi9wv yoKa was a kind of proverb applied to the rich and 
happy, probably because articles of rarity are usually in great request on that 


HyberniB pretium sic meruere ross. 

so in the Birds, Peisthetaerus says to Hercules, 6pvi9<ov irapkiu aok yoKa, 

520—570.] THE WASPS. 187 

Phi. I wrong in judging? 

Bde. Hear'st thou not thyself 540 

ScoflT'd at by men whom thou all but adorest? 
And in a state of secret servitude ? 

Phi. Talk not of this to me, who govern all. 

Bde. Not thou indeed, but while thou think'st to govern. 
Thou art thyself a slave — for teach us, father. 
What honour can be thine from plundered Greece ? 

Phi. Much — and to these I*d trust th' arbitrement. 

Bde. And I the same: — now all of you dismiss him; ' 
Give me a sword, for if I be surpassed 
By thee in pleading, I will fall upon it. 550 

But tell me what will be the consequence, 
If thou abide not by the arbitration? 

Phi. Ne'er may I drink pure wine, the recompense 
Of our good genius. 

Cho. It behoves thee, now, 

Who art of our gymnasium, to pronounce 
Some new thing, that thy value may appear. 
If he to these exhort thee, thou must not 
Speak like this youth, beholding what great danger 
All thine affairs are in, if (which I trust 
May never happed) this man prove victorious. 560 

Bde. Some one bring tablets to me with all speed, 
That whatsoe'er he says, for memory's sake^ 
I may write down. 

Phi. And, if in argument 

He gain the victory o'er me, what say you ? 
Cho. No longer were the aged multitude 

Of the least use — ^but we, in all the streets 
Derided, mere branch-beirers should be call'd. 
Or husks of litigation. But oh thou! 
Whose eloquence for our whole state will plead. 
Now boldly all thy powers of speech employ. 570 

Phi. And straight from the beginning will I show 
That our dominion is surpass'd by none. 
For what in life's more happy than a judge, 
What more luxurious or more terrible 
When he is old ? whom, as he creeps from bed. 

188 THE WASPS. [Act n. Sc. i. 

Huge men, four cubits high, guard at the bar^; 

And then, as I approach, some one extends 

His supple hand, with pubUc rapine fiU'd. 

Then pouring forth a miserable voice, 

They bend in supplication — '* Pity me, 680 

father, I beseech thee, if thou e'er 
Hast in thy magistracy pillaged aught. 

Or in the army, bartering with thy messmates ! 

Who had not known that I were in existence 

But for his late acquittal. 
Bde. Let this saying 

Touching the clients be my memorandum. 
Phi. Then entering, by solicitation press'd. 

And anger wip'd away, of all I promis*d, 

Arriv'd within, no part will I perform. 

But listen to the supplicating voice * 590 

Utter'd by those who would elude conviction. 

For then what flattery may a judge not hear ? 

Some weep their poverty, and loads of woe. 

Until they equal mine, — some tell us fables. 

And others one of ^Esop's drolleries. 

Some jest, that I may be provok'd to laugh, 

And lay aside my wrath — and if by these 

We fail to be persuaded, straight they drag 

The children, male and female, by the hand : 

1 listen — they stoop down and bleat together, 600 
And then, on their behalf, the trembling sire 
Beseeches me, as if I were a god. 

To free him from th' impeachment, " If thou'rt pleas*d 

With a lamb's voice, pity a child's complaint." 

And if in little pigs I take delight. 

Then should I listen to his daughter's voice. 

k By dvSptg fic/aXot Kai rerpaTr^xct^, in this line, are to be understood not so 
much men of lofty stature, since the height of four cubits does not exceed the usual 
measure, as men of generous and liberal minds. In bodily height, they certainly 
could not compare with William Evans, the gigantic porter of Charles I. (see Pen- 
nant's London, p. 324.), who was seven feet and a half high, and must have greatly 
fallen short of the husband of that Syracusan female mentioned by Theocritus ( Ado- 
niaz. V. 17.), who was av^p TpurKaidtKatrrixve' So in the Frogs, (v. 1026.) tt 
yivvaiovQ koi TirpaTrrtxiiQ . 

580—630.] THE WASPS. 

And then our rage we lower a small peg. 
Ts not this empire and contempt of wealth ? 

Bde, This too, thy second saying, I inscribe 

" Contempt of wealth" — and reckon o'er to me 
The profits of thine empire over Greece. 

Phi. The children's puberty we may inspect ; 
And if to his defence CEagrus ' come, 
He's not dismiss'd e'er lie recite to us 
Some sweet selected part from Niobe, 
And if the piper gain his cause, he gives 
To us, his judges, as a recompense, 
With mouth well fortified, a parting strain. 
And if a father, at his death, bequeath 
To any one, his daughter and sole heiress. 
Bidding the testament bewail at length. 
And shell that nicely covers o'er the seals °, 
We give her to that man, whose supplication 
Shall have persuaded us, and this we do 
Quite irresponsible — a privilege, 
To none inferior. 

Bde. I wish thee joy, 

For this and all the blessings thou hast nam'd, 
But thou dost wrong in shelling up the will 
Regarding the sole heiress. 

Phi. And moreover. 

When in deciding on some great affair. 
The senate and the people are in doubt, 
It is decreed to render up the culprits 
To us their judges — then Evathlus, and 
That mighty cringing shield-rejecting fellow", 

' 'Ihia was the name of a tragic actor wEio performed the part of Niohe ia that 
tragedy, either of Sophocles or -Eschylus, (Scholiast). 

'^ Kai Ty tiyxv ''P "'ovu iTffiiiui£. It appears from this passage that the aDcieoti 
were in the habit of covering the signature aod seals of their important acts nith 
shells, in order to preserve them from injur; ; this was called avatoyx''^o!iiiv. 

° This Fvathlus was a rhetorician and a sycophant, often lampooned by the 
comic writers of his time, especially Plato and CratintiE ; see also the Aciwrnians, 
v. 675, where his powers of haranguing are mentiooed in magnifcent terms. By 
soKaKiiyviiBS 'tmriJoiro/JX^C '^ meant Cleonymus. the eowatdly flatterer, who cast 
away his shielJ, so common a subject of raillery to our poet ; see patticuUily iht 
Clouds, V. 372. llie P«n«, 1 152. Iht Birdi, v. 1475, etc. atid v. 930. of this comedy. 

190 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Declare *tis not their purpose to betray us, 
But for the democratic state to fight ; 
And no opinion with the crowd prevail'd, 
But that which said the bench should be dismissed 
Soon as the judges had despatched one cause. 
And Cleon, who in bawling conquers all, 640 

At us alone gnaws not, but with his band, 
Protecting, drives away from us the flies. 
Thou never hast thy father treated thus ; 
But tho' Theorus be a man no way 
Inferior to Euphemius % from his basin 
Taking a sponge, he cleans our dusty shoes. 
Consider now, from what advantages 
Thou dost exclude and hinder me, who said'st 
That thou would*st prove this to be slavish service. 

Bde. Speak to satiety — for thou, at length 650 

Wilt surely cease from thine illustrious rule. 
And in unwashen nakedness appear. 

Phi. But the most sweet of all I had forgot — 
When I go home, having receiv'd my fee. 
And all salute me for the money's sake ; 
Then, first of all, my daughter washes me. 
Anoints my feet, and stooping, kisses me. 
Then, at the same time, calling me " Papa," 
She baits her tongue for my triobolus ; 
And my cajoling little wife brings to me 660 

A cake of kneaded flour, while sittin^g near. 
She presses me with — " eat this, taste of this" — 
Thus am I gratified, and not compelled 
To look towards thee and the steward, what time 
He serves the dinner, muttering out a curse. 
Lest haply, he should bake another for me. 
Thus I possess a shield against all ills. 
And armour of defence to ward off darts. 
But if thou wilt not pour me wine to drink, 
I bring this ass-like cup of liquor full. 670 

• Theorus was a mean flatterer, here compared with Euphemius, a rhetorician, 
who did not think it beneath him to perform the most servile offices, and even to 
wipe away the dust from the judges' shoes, rafijiddia iripiKtaveiv. 

64fl— 690.] THE WASPS. 

Then pour it out reclining j while he gapes. 

And braying with a military air, 

Makes loud explosions. Bear I not a rule 

Inferior, by no means, to that of Jove, 

Who am saluted with no less a name? 

And if we make a tumult, every one 

Of those who pass by says — ' What thunder peals 

Along the judgment seat, O monarch Jove !' 

And if I fulminate, with clapping hands 

The rich and very grave, responsive, sound p. G80 

And me thou chiefly foarest, — Yes, by Ceres, 

TIiou feareat me — but may I perish, if 

I look on thee with dread. 

Cho. Ne'er have we heard 

A man so clearly, or so wisely talk. 

Phi. No — but he thought to make an easy vintage 
Of a deserted vine ''. For well he knew 
That I was most prevailing in this art. 

Cho. How hath he gone through all, and pass'd by nothing I 
So that 1 grew in hearing, and appear'd 
To hold a session in the happy isles ', 690 

Delighted with his words. 

Phi. How he begins 

To yawn, and is not master of himself ! 
I'll make thee look to-day as at the lash. 

Cho, [io Bdf..] And it behoves thee all deceits to weave 
For thine acquittal — since 'tis diflicult 
To molHfy my rage, unless thy words 
Regard my interest. Wherefore it is time 
For thee to seek a good and new-cut millstone, 

Berglei aptly compaics Pliny, (H. N. iivii!. cap. 2.) who, speaking of the super- 
■IJtiouB reverence xith which thunder-claps were regarded by the ancients, i>ays, 
" fulgetrai poppysmia adarare consensus gentium est." 

1 Thit is a proverbial expression applied to auch as are negligent in ifae tillage 
of Iheir vines, and yet eipect to reap an abundant vintage. (Scbol.) It occur* 
Bgain in the Etc h^immx, (BBS.) 

' Rcspectiog the judges io the shades below, see the poetical description in the 
second Olympic ode of Pindiai (v. 100, etc.) 


192 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

If speaking have no power to break my rage. 

Bde. 'Tis a hard task, and one that asks more counsel 700 
Than comedy can boast, to heal an ill, 
Which, in the state, has long bred inwardly. 
But O ! Saturnian Sire ! 

Phi. Cease, sire not me. 

For if o* th' instant, thou instruct me not 
How I should be a slave, it cannot chance 
But thou must die, tho* from the sacred entrails 
It were my destiny to be remov*d. 

Bde. Hear then, O sire, relax thy front awhile, 
And first count lightly, not with calculi, 
But on the fingers, what a sum of tribute 710 

Comes to us from the cities, and besides. 
The many hundredths, prytanean pledges. 
The metals, markets, harbours, salaries. 
And sales of public confiscations. 
From these we nearly draw two thousand talents. 
Deposit thence the judges' yearly pay. 
Who sojourn here, six thousand and no more, 
Yours are one hundred, then, and fifty talents. 

Phi. Then not the tenth part comes to us for fee '. 

Bde. No, truly — and where fly the other moneys ? 720 

Phi. To those whose cry is — " I will not betray 
Th' Athenian rabble, but will always fight 
To aid the multitude." 

Bde. These, O my Father, 

Thou choosest to rule over thee, deceiv'd 
By such slight words: they then receive in bribes 
Talents by fifties, from the other states. 
Whom with such threats as these they terrify, 
" Pay tribute, or I'll thunder down your city." 
And thou'rt content to eat up the remains 
Of thy dominion ; the allies meanwhile, 730 

When they perceive the refuse of the crowd 
With hunger pining, gnaw the ballot-box, 

« i. e. about 1,166 French livres per annum for each of the 6000 judges, scarcely 
45£ of our money. 

700-750.] THE WASPS. 193 

Regard thee as the suffrages of Connus*, 

But bring them presents — pickle-jars, wine, carpets. 

Cheese, honey, sesamum, cushions, cups, cloaks, 

Chaplets, chains, goblets, wealth and sanity. 

To thee, of all whom thou command'st on earth. 

And all thy toils at sea achiev'd ", not one 

Presents, to cook thy fish, a head of garlick. 

Phi. Not so, by Jove, — but from Eucharides 740 

I have myself sent for three garlick heads ^ 
But thou annoyest me, not showing forth 
This slavery of mine, 

Bde. Is it not great 

That those who rule, themselves and flatterers, all 

Are brib'd alike ? — to thee should any one 

Give the three oboli, art thou content 

With pay which fighting or besieging towns, 

By labour manifold thou hast achiev'd ? 

And in addition, what torments me most, 

Ordet'd by others, thou frequent'st the courts, 750 

When an immodest youth approaches thee. 

The son of Chaereas, standing thus astride, 

^^ ^F ^» ^» ^P 

Bidding thee come by early dawn to judge; 
Since whosoever is behind the signal. 
Will not bear with him the three oboli. 

* According to the Scholiast, Connus was a young harper. Others describe him 
as one who had wasted his patrimony, and thus become reduced to the condition 
of a pauper, whence the proverb quoted by Callistratus, Kovvov OpHov, from the 
empty sound sent forth by a fig-leaf, (see the Knights, v. 532.) 

" The expression in this line is very singular. 

TroXXd 5* k<p ' vyp^ irirvXtvaag* 

This participle is derived from wiTvXog, the noise made by oars impelled through 
the water. Hence is formed the word pilylisma or pytilisma, the ablative case of 
which (^pitylismate^ is the ingenious conjectural emendation of Jul. Scaliger, in 
that much -controverted passage of Juvenal (xi. 173) instead of the common read- 
ing (pytismate). It may be remarked that different codices and editions of this 
noble satirist, exhibit no fewer than eight words of similar termination besides the 
two here mentioned — pedeumate, pitteumatef pedemate, pyreumate, poppysmate, 
pr(tpt y striate f piteremate, pygismate, 

^ Eucharides was the name of a garlick- seller, and by rptig dy\XOa** * 

the <TKop6dov Kt^aXr^ of the preceding line. 


194 THE WASPS. [Act it. Sc. i. 

Buty late as he may come^ the advocate 

Receives his drachma as the pleader's fee ^, 

And, with another of the archons, sharing 

What an acquitted culprit may bestow, 760 

You two arrange together the aflfair, 

While like a saw one gives, and one withdraws it. 

Thy gaping look observes the treasurer". 

But the manoeuvre still escapes thy notice. 

Phi. Is*t thus they treat me ? what, alas ! say'st thou. 
Stirring the very bottom of my soul ? 
My mind thou so attractest, that I know not 
What 'tis thou do'st to me. 

Bde. Consider then. 

That, when thou might'st with all the world grow rich, 
Thou'rt always compass'd round by demagogues, 770 
Who over many cities bearest sway. 
From Pontus to Sardinia — thou hast nought 
To make thee glad, save the small salary 
Which thou receiv'st* — and that by little still 
They squeeze for thee in drops, as out of wool, 
Like oil, for the support of thine existence. 

y rb avvriyopiKbv, Spaxft^v* This was the daily sum granted to the forensic 
orators for undertaking to plead the cause of any state or citizen. The Scholiast, 
on the authority of Aristotle, says that the cvvriyopoi were ten in number and 
chosen by lot. 

* <ri $k xa<TKd!^tig Tbv KiaXaKpirriv, The KuAaKpsTtjg was a public accountant 
who paid the judicial salaries, and provided for the expenses of the festivals. 
Hence these questors of the public treasury derived their name of KiaXoKpsrai or 
KOfXaypirai &irb rdv KioXiHv, because they received as their perquisite the skins 
and relics of their victims. 

» ovK airoXaveiQ TrX^v tov9' 8 <f>sptiQ, dKaprj. That is, all thy gain consists in 
the purchase of this miserable little cloajc, tovto 6 (jtopuQ Ifidnov (Schol.), and 
even this modicum of pay they dole out drop by drop, as if squeezed from wool 
steeped in liquor. " M^taphore tir6e des liqueurs qu' on ezprime en pressant un 
flocon de laine" — (Note of the French translator). In the next line, akevpov is 
imd irapd rrpotrdoKiav for eXaiov, or some other fluid — (Bergler). The great 
extent of the judicial power possessed by the Athenians in the time of Aristophanes 
may be gathered from this speech of Bdelycleon, who says that they bear sway 

From Pontus to Sardinia -, 

Compare v. 540. where the chorus says, 

ovKiTi TrptaPvr&v oxXog 

760—790.] THE WASPS. 195 

For tbey would have tliee poor— and for what reason 

I will declare to thee — that thou may'st know 

Thy keeper, and when he shall hiss thee on. 

Leap savagely upon thine enemies. 7S0 

If they desir'd to give the people food. 

Nothing were easier — since a thousand cities 

Convey us tribute, if to each of these, 

The charge were given to nourish twenty men, 

Two hundred thousand of the citizens 

Had liv'd on hare's flesh — with all sorts of crowns. 

And early and coagulated milk '' ; 

Enjoying pleasures worthy of our land, 

As of the trophy gain'd in Marathon 

And now, like olive-gatherers, ye go 790 

In company with him who bears the fee. 

Pnr. Alas! what torpor's o'er my hand diffus'd? 
I'm now so soft, I cannot hold my sword ^ 

Bde. But when in fear, Eubcea they would give you'', 
And promise to grant corn by fifty bushels ; 
Yet give they nothing, save of late, five bushels 
Of barley thou receivedst, and scarce these, 
(Convicted as a stranger '), by (he chtenix. 

'' nai ni'ii imi iri/pidrjr. The word jruov piopetly signifies Ihe first milk drawn 
after caliring-, and jrupiaj-tje scalded cteam. Instead of the latler Inverniiius leads 
jrvapiry, agaiDSt the metre, aa (he first sjlkble would be long, derived from ttudv, 
ithich he affirms to be the reading of all Ihe editions : this is ev'dently wrong, as 
both the Juntas give nvpiary. The metaphor is repeated at v. 8U1. 

''■ This line is an allusion to the ADi]tDm.aehe of Euripides, where Menelans casts 
away his sword, as he is ou the point of slaying Helen with it, Bdelycleon had 
before (v. 547.) asked for a sword, on which lie threatens to fall if conqnered in 
a^ment by Fhilocleon. The same alluuon is made by Lampito in the Lysistrata 
(v. 155.) Compare Masainger, (New Way, etc.) Act v. Sc. ult., where Sit Gilas 
Overreach eiclaims, 

••- — —Ha! I'm feeble. 
Some undone widow «ts upon my arm, etc." 

^ Our poet here says that these rhetorical demagogues would give '- 
nians in promise, the whole fertile island of EubCEa, whereas in a i 
during the terrible plague, which invaded the Attic territory from i 
borders of Egypt, so graphically described by Thucydides and 
really gave but five medimns or thirty bushels, and that by slow de^ 
Ihe 14,240 citiieos of Athens. 

■ iiviat ^tufuv means conmcSed of peregrin lol 

privileges of citizens. The foreigners in Alhea 


196 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

On this account^ I keep thee here confin'd 

Wishing to nourish thee^ and not expose 800 

To be the sport of these vain promisers. 

And simply now I would grant all thy mind, 

Except to drain milk from the treasurer. 


Wise, to a certainty, was he who said, 

" Judge not before you hear the speech of both." 

You now appear to me by far superior, 

So that, with ire relax*d, I cast away 

The staff— but oh ! — associates and coevals. 

Obey, obey my speech, and be not senseless, 

Nor very crabbed and inflexible. 810 

Would I some kinsman or relation had 

To give me such advice ! — and now some god 

Aids thee, in this affair, with his clear presence. 

And manifests his benefits — ^which thou 

With readiness receive. 

Bde. Indeed I will 

Nourish and give him all an old man needs. 
Pottage to lick, a soft robe, goat-skin garment, 
A nymph to rub his members and his loins. 
Yet he is silent, muttering not a word. 
This cannot please me. 

Cho. He hath turn'd his mind 820 

Upon his present state and former greatness ; 
For now he knows and thinks upon his fault. 
That he would not obey thine exhortations. 
But haply now to these thy words obedient 
He's wise, and putting off his former manners. 
Submits himself to thee. 

Phi. Alas! Alas! 

Bde. Wherefore cry out to me ? 

Phi. Beguile me not 

With promises like these — it is my pleasure 
To be where cries the herald — ** Who has not 
Yet given his suffrage ? — Let him rise" — and may 830 
I stand prepared to drop my calculus 

800—850.] THE WASPS. 197 

The last of all into the ballot-box. 

Hasten^ O soul — where is my lurking spirit^? 

By Hercules, no more among the judges 

Cleon could I convict of peculation. 
Bde. O Father, by the gods, obey my voice. 
Phi. Obey thee ? — why ? — save one thing, speak thy will. 
Bde. What is it? let me know. 
Phi. To keep from judging. 

This, Hades shall decree, e'er I obey. 
Bde. Thou, therefore, since the courts are thy delight, 840 

Descend not thither, but, remaining here, 

Administer the law to thy domestics. 
Phi. - Concerning what dispute ? why banterest thou ? 
Bde. Whatever is done here. When, secretly, 

The servant-maiden has unclosed the door. 

Her only shalt thou fine for the offence. 

And this is what thou still art wont to do. 

According to right order — if the morn 

Resplendent shine, by sun-light thou wilt judge ; 

But if it snow or rain, the fire-side, then, 850 

Will be thy seat of judgment : — should'st thou wake 

At noon day, yet will no Thesmothetes 

Exclude thee from the forum «. 
Phi. This delights me. 

irdpiQ Si tJKUpd, 

This passage is a parody of the Bellerophon of Euripides, 

irdpeg, & UKupd. ^vXXdg , vneppd 
KprivoCia vdirri. 

The poetical epithet (jKupd applied to the soul will perhaps remind the reader of 
Adrian's beautiful line, addressed to his soul, 

Pallidula, rigida, nubiUi, 

B oi)hic (T* AvoKXtieei OeefwBsTTig Ty KiyKXidt. There were at Athens ten ma- 
gistrates called archons, viz. the king, archon, the polemarch, and six Thesmothets, 
so called because they had the care of the laws and whatever related to the courts 
of justice. To these judges, who were chosen each from his own tribe, the Scholiast 
adds another, the scribe. Whoever of these, when cited to the diet, failed to ap- 
pear in proper time, was excluded, dnb Trig KiyicXidog, (see y, 124.) and lost his 
fee of three oboli. The word KiyKXideg properly denotes the doors of the iud^ment- 
hall, Photius ; and KiyKXig is defined by the same lexicographer, 6 
KayKiXXog, (cancellus). 

198 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Bde. Besides this, should a pleader at great length 
Pursue his cause, thou wilt not hungry wait^ 
Wearing alike thyself and the defendant. 

Phi. How then shall I be able, as of yore. 

Rightly to judge affairs, still ruminating? 

Bde. Far better — since it is a common saying. 

That while the witnesses are speaking false 860 

Digesting judges scarcely know the cause. 

Phi. Indeed thou dost persuade me — but not yet 
Say'st whence my recompense I shall receive. 

Bde. From me. 

Phi. 'Tis well that I apart receive it, 

And not with any other; for the jester 
Lysistratus hath treated me most basely^ ; 
Having of late, with me receiv'd a drachma. 
He went and frittered it away in fish. 
Then to my share assigned three mullets' scales. 
Which in my mouth I placed — imagining 870 

That I received as many oboli : 
But spit them out disgusted with the smell, 
Then dragg'd him into court incontinently. 

Bde. And what said he to this ? 

Phi. What ? why, he said 

That I must have the stomach of a cock ; 
For silver thou wilt soon digest, he added. 


6 (TKuirrokrig 

h meDtioned again in the Acharnians, v. 820, as the disgrace of his tribe, together 
with 6 frepi'jrdvripoQ 'Aprsfnav and Uavaiav 6 'irafnrovripog' on which passage 
Elmsley quotes AthenaBUS, p. 533. E. This low fellow seems here to have played 
a very shabby trick on Philocleon, by giving him three mullets' scales instead of 
his judicial fee of the half drachma. These, he says, " I placed in my mouth*'-- 
jrdya» Vc/caif/'* which word Palmer interprets by incurvavi dentibus, I bent it with 
my teeth to try whether it were good } or Kaytav eKaypa, as Florens Christianas 
reads, who imagines that an allusion is here intended to the Greek proverb used 
by iEschylus (Agamemnon, 36.) and Theocritus, quoted by Stanley : fiovg kwi 
yXuxrtry fikyag, and applied to such as have an impediment to free speech. — • 
Athenaeus quotes from Alexis — 

6 S* lyKOLypag rb Kepfi tig ti^v yvdOov. 
There appears to have been an Attic coin of the value of two drachmas, stamped 
with the figure of an ox. 

86!i0— 900.] THE WASPSi 199 

Bde. (giving money to his father.) Thou seest then how 

much profit thou wilt gain. 
Phi. Not altogether small — but do thy pleasure. 
Bde. Wait now until I come and bring them to thee. 
Phi. Behold, how are the oracles accomplish'd; 880 

For I had heard that once the Athenians held 

Domestic judgment-seats, and every man 

Erected for himself, before the doors, 

A small tribunal, like a Hecateum', 

For his own practice in the vestibule. 

Bde. What further wilt thou say? lo, I bring all 

Whate'er I had announced, and many more ; 
« * « * ♦ 

« « « * ♦ 

***** 890 

« « « * ♦ 

Bde. Lo, here is fire, and lentils standing near, 

If there be need to sup. 
Phi. This too is well ; 

For tho' I burn with fever, at the least 

I shall receive my fee ; since here remaining 

I may devour my lentils — but for what 

Brought you the bird to me ? 
Bde. That should you sleep 

While any one is pleading, by his song. 

Descending from above, he may arouse thee. 
Phi. One thing I still desire, tho' in the rest 900 

Well pleas'd. 
Bde. What is't ? 

Phi. That thou bring Lycus' imaged 

' The *Eicaracov, or *£icarciov, was a small shrine or temple of Hecate, i^opos, 
and Kovporp6^oc, of which several were erected by the Greeks in various places 
where three roads met -, upon these altars it was customary for the rich to place 
eggs and toasted cheese, especially in the time of the new moon, to be taken away 
by the poor who casually passed by (see the Plutus, v. 594.) — Our moden^ 
Reformers are probably not aware that their notion of bringing justice to every 
man's door, can boast of such high antiquity as is here assigned to it by Philocleoa 
(see the Scholiast on this passage.) 

^ Ofjpifov (i. e. rb ripifov) rb tov Avkov is to be understood of the.^tablet con* 

goo THE WASPS. [Act n. Sc. i. 

Bde. He's here, O king — and 'tis his very self. 
Phi. O hero, how tremendous to behold ! 

As in our eyes appears Cleonynuis*. 
Sos. Nor yet has he, although a hero, arms. 
Bde. If thou wert seated, soon I'd call a cause. 
Phi. Call now, for I long since have sat attentive. 
Bde. Come then, what cause shall I first introduce ? 

Of the domestics which hath done amiss ? 

The Thracian maid who lately burnt a pitcher"™? 910 
Phi. Restrain thyself; since almost thou destroy'st me — 

Without a bar art thou about to judge, 

Which seem'd to us the first of sacred rites " ? 
Bde. By Jove, there is none present ; but I'll run 

And bring one hither straightway from within. 

How wonderful this passion for a place ! 
Xan. Go to the crows — to nourish such a dog ! 
Bde. What is the matter, truly ? 
Xan. Hath not Labes, 

That cur, into the kitchen just now rush'd, 

And snatch'd and eat up a Sicilian cheese**? 920 

Bde. This is, in truth, the first charge to be brought 

Before my father — come thou and accuse him. 

taining the eflfigy of the hero Lycus, as it appears in the judicial forum, without the 
presence of which this lover of lawsuits would scarcely think himself to be in the 
forum (see the note on v. 398.) 

* This similitude strikes Bdelycleon, not merely on account of the huge stature 
of each, but as they are both without arms ; the one being a forensic and not a 
martial hero, the other from having cast his away in battle. — Bergler. 

"* The name apdrra in this line most pi:obably denotes a domestic damsel 
brought from Thrace, as ^pv^ (v. 433.) and :2vpa, in the Peace, v. 1112. Instead 
oi 7r(>09Kav9aaa in this line, Florens Christianus thought that the true reading 
was irpotrBpavcacaf having broken, and this certainly appears preferable, although 
unsupported by manuscript authority. 

" av€v SpVippciK Tov TTjv diKTiv fuXKeiQ KoXeXv, This alludes^ to a barrier of oak 
or other wood, within which the priest officiated at the sacrifices. Philocleon has 
such veneration for the place and act of judgment, that, as Bergler observes, he 
speaks of them as of religious rites or mysteries. 

® This alludes to the expedition into Sicily in the second year of the Ixxxviii. 
Olympiad, under the conduct of Laches, who is here designed by the dog Labes, 
a name very appropriate to the canine race from his propensity to take or snatch 
whatever may be in his way, or, according to the Scholiast, cnrd tov Xafipdvuv 
9rjpia (see note on v. 247.) 

910—940.] THE WASPS. 001 

Xan. By Jupiter, not I — but t'other dog 

Says that he will prefer the accusation. 

Can any one but introduce the action. 
Bde. Come now, and lead them hither. 
Xan. We must do so. 

Phi. But what is here ? 

Bde. 'Tis the domestic pig-styP. 

Pnir Then bearest thou a sacrilegious hand ? 
Bde. Not so, but that from Vesta auspicating ^^t 

One I may immolate. 
Phi. But haste to bring on 9S0 

The cause ; for I look to the punishment. 
Bde. Come now, I'll bring the tablets and the stylus. 
Phi. Ah me I with these delays thou wilt destroy mc' — 

But I had need of space to mark my furrows '. 
Bde. Behold ! 

Phi. Now summon. 

Bde. I'm about it. 

Phi. Who 

Appears th^ first ? 
Bde. a plague on't ! how I grieve 

That I've forgotten the judicial urn I 
Phi. Ho, whither runnest thou ? 
Bde. After the urns. 

Phi. By no means ; for I had these jills. 
Bde. Most right. 

For all things that we need are present to us, 940 

Except at least the clepsydra. 

P XOipOKOfiitov *E<frtac» This, according to the Scholiast, was a cer- 
tain cane vessel out of which pigs were £ed ; and the name of Vesta is given to it, as 
it was the custom to fatten this portion of the live stock near the vestibule of the 
house. This bore some resemblance to the judicial barrier, and naturally presented 
itself to the mind of Philocleon as an emblem of his favorite pursuit. 

4 Alluding to the proverb a<l>' 'Eartac apxov since in sacrifices they began with 
this goddess. The Scholiast quotes Plato in his dialogue of Euthyphron. 

** The word aXoKi^eiv is here, by an obvious metaphor, applied to indenting the 
waxen tablet with a stylus. Fl. Christianus, in a very learned annotation upon 
this line, says that the phrase equally denotes the furrowing a field and finishing a 
verse, whence the expression fiovoTpo^n^bv ypd(j>£ip, to write after the manner of 
an ox ploughing land. 

192 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

If speaking have no power to break my rage. 

Bde. 'Tis a hard task^ and one that asks more counsel 700 
Than comedy can boast, to heal an ill, 
Which, in the state, has long bred inwardly. 
But O ! Saturnian Sire ! 

Phi. Cease, sire not me. 

For if o* th' instant, thou instruct me not 
How I should be a slave, it cannot chance 
But thou must die, tho' from the sacred entrails 
It were my destiny to be remov'd. 

Bde. Hear then, O sire, relax thy front awhile. 
And first count lightly, not with calculi, 
But on the fingers, what a sum of tribute 710 

Comes to us from the cities, and besides. 
The many hundredths, prytanean pledges. 
The metals, markets, harbours, salaries. 
And sales of public confiscations. 
From these we nearly draw two thousand talents. 
Deposit thence the judges' yearly pay, 
Who sojourn here, six thousand and no more. 
Yours are one hundred, then, and fifly talents. 

Phi. Then not the tenth part comes to us for fee '. 

Bde. No, truly — and where fly the other moneys ? 720 

Phi. To those whose cry is — " I will not betray 
Th' Athenian rabble, but will always fight 
To aid the multitude." 

Bde. These, O my Father, 

Thou choosest to rule over thee, deceived 
By such slight words: they then receive in bribes 
Talents by fifties, from the other states. 
Whom with such threats as these they terrify, 
** Pay tribute, or I'll thunder down your city." 
And thou'rt content to eat up the remains 
Of thy dominion ; the allies meanwhile, 730 

When they perceive the refuse of the crowd 
With hunger pining, gnaw the ballot-box, 

« i. e. about 1,166 French litres per annum for each of the 6000 judges, scarcely 
45£ of our money. 

700-750.] THE WASPS. 193 

Regard thee as the suffrages of Connus*, 

But bring them presents — pickle-jars, wine, carpets, 

Cheese, honey, sesamum, cushions, cups, cloaks, 

Chaplets, chains, goblets, wealth and sanity. 

To thee, of all whom thou command'st on earth. 

And all thy toils at sea achiev'd ", not one 

Presents, to cook thy fish, a head of garlick. 

Phi. Not so, by JoVe, — but from Eucharides 740 

I have myself sent for three garlick heads *. 
But thou annoyest me, not showing forth 
This slavery of mine. 

Bde. Is it not great 

That those who rule, themselves and flatterers, all 

Are brib'd alike ? — to thee should any one 

Give the three oboli, art thou content 

With pay which fighting or besieging towns, 

By labour manifold thou hast achiev'd ? 

And in addition, what torments me most, 

Ordet'd by others, thou frequent'st the courts, 750 

When an immodest youth approaches thee. 

The son of Chaereas, standing thus astride, 

^ 9 V • V V 

Bidding thee come by early dawn to judge; 
Sinee whosoever is behind the signal. 
Will not bear with him the three oboli. 

< According to the Scholiast, Connus was a young harper. Others describe him 
as one who had wasted his patrimony, and thus become reduced to the condition 
of a pauper, whence the proverb quoted by Callistratus, Kovvov Opiov, £rom the 
empty sound sent forth by a fig-leaf, (see the Knights, v. 532.) 

^ The expression in this line is very singular. 

TroXXd ^ i<l>* ^yp^ iriTvKtvaaQ. 
This participle is derived from irirvKog, the noise made by oars impelled through 
the water. Hence is formed the word pitylisma or pytilisma, the ablative case of 
which (pitylismate) is the ingenious conjectural emendation of Jul. Scaliger, in 
that much-controverted passage of Juvenal (xi. 173) instead of the common read- 
ing (pytismate). It may be remarked that different codices and editions of this 
noble satirist, exhibit no fewer than eight words of similar termination besides the 
two here mentioned — pedeumate, pitteumate, pedemate, pyreismate, poppysmate, 
propty striate, piteremate, pygismate. 

^ Eucharides was the name of a garlick -seller, and by rpcTc dyXiOag are meant 
the (TKopodov KufKiKr^ of the preceding line. 


194 THE WASPS. [Act n, Sc. i. 

But^ late as he may come^ the advocate 

Receives his drachma as the pleader's fee ^^ 

And, with another of the archons, sharing 

What an acquitted culprit may bestow, 760 

You two arrange together the affair, 

While like a saw one gives, and one withdraws it. 

Thy gaping look observes the treasurer". 

But the manoeuvre still escapes thy notice. 

Phi. Is't thus they treat me ? what, alas ! say'st thou. 
Stirring the very bottom of my soul ? 
My mind thou so attractest, that I know not 
What 'tis thou do'st to me. 

Bde. Consider then. 

That, when thou might'st with all the world grow rich, 
Thou'rt always compass'd round by demagogues, 770 
Who over many cities bearest sway. 
From Pontus to Sardinia — thou hast nought 
To make thee glad, save the small salary 
Which thou receiv'st* — and that by little still 
They squeeze for thee in drops, as out of wool. 
Like oil, for the support of thine existence. 

y rb ffwriyoptKbv, Spaxfiriv, This was the daily sum granted to the forensic 
orators for undertaking to plead the cause of any state or citizen. The Scholiast, 
on the authority of Aristotle, says that the ffvvfiyopot were ten in number and 
chosen by lot. 

■ ei Sk xa(Tca^c(c Tbv icwXaicplrjjv. The KaAaKpkrrjg was a public accountant 
who paid the judicial salaries, and provided for the expenses of the festivals. 
Hence these questors of the public treasury derived their name of KiaXoKpsrai or 
Kiokaypkrai dirb r&v Kiok&v, because they received as their perquisite the skins 
and relics of their victims. 

• ovK airokaviiQ ?rX^v tov& B ^kp^ig, aKaprj. That is, all thy gain consists in 
the purchase of this miserable little cloak, tovto 6 <j>opHc Ifidnov (Schol.), and 
even this modicum of pay they dole out drop by drop, as if squeezed from wool 
steeped in liquor. " M6taphore tir6e des liqueurs qu' on exprime en pressant un 
flocon de laine'* — (Note of the French translator). In the next line, oKtvpov is 
taid irapd irpoa^oKiav for IXacov, or some other fluid — (Bergler). The g^eat 
extent of the judicial power possessed by the Athenians in the time of Aristophanes 
may be gathered from this speech of Bdelycleon, who says that they bear sway 

From Pontus to Sardinia ^ 

Compare v. 540. where the chorus says, 

ovKkri irpeejivT&v ox\oc 
XP'n<f*^H'OS ^<fT ovS' &Kaofj» 

760—790.] THE WASPS. 195 

For they would have thee poor — and for what reason 

I will declare to thee — that thou may'st know 

Thy keeper, and when he shall hiss thee on, 

Leap savagely upon thine enemies. 780 

If they desir'd to give the people food, 

Nothing were easier — since a thousand cities 

Convey us tribute, if to each of these. 

The charge were given to nourish twenty men, 

Two hundred thousand of the citizens 

Had liv'd on hare's flesh — with all sorts of crowns, 

And early and coagulated milk ^ ; 

Enjoying pleasures worthy of our land. 

As of the trophy gain'd in Marathon 

And now, like olive-gatherers, ye go 790 

In company with him who bears the fee. 

Phi. Alas! what torpor's o'er my hand diffus'd? 
I'm now so soft, I cannot hold my sword ^ 

Bde. But when in fear, Euboea they would give you **, 
And promise to grant corn by fifty bushels ; 
Yet give they nothing, save of late, five bushels 
Of barley thou receivedst, and scarce these, 
(Convicted as a stranger *), by the chaenix. 

•> Kal ir-btfi KaX irvpidry. The word 'ttvov properly signifies the first milk drawn 
after calving, and irvpiaTtiQ scalded cream. Instead of the latter Invernizius reads 
wapiry, against the metre, as the first syllable would be long, derived from irvov, 
which he affirms to be the reading of all the editions : this is ev'dently wrong, as 
both the Juntas give wpiaTy. The metaphor is repeated at v. 801. 

(^ This line is an allusion to the Andromache of Euripides, where Menelaus casts 

away his sword, as he is on the point of slaying Helen with it. Bdelycleon had 

before (v. 547.) asked for a sword, on which he threatens to fall if conquered in 

argument by Philocleon. The same allusion is made by Lampito in the Lpsistrata 

(v. 155.) Compare Massinger, (New Way, etc.) Act y. Sc. ult., where Sir Giles 

Overreach exclaims, 

" Ha ! Vm feeble. 

Some undone widow sits upon my arm, etc." 

^ Our poet here says that these rhetorical demagogues would give to the Athe- 
nians in promise, the whole fertile island of Euboea, whereas in a scarcity of com, 
during the terrible plague, which invaded the Attic territory from Ethiopia or the 
borders of Egypt, so graphically described by Thucydides and Lucretius, they 
really gave but five medimns or thirty bushels, and that by slow degrees, to each of 
the 14,240 citizens of Athens. 

* ^Eviag <ptvy(i)v means convicted ofperegrinity, and therefore not entitled to the 
privileges of citizens. The foreigners in Athens amounted to about 4750. 

196 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

On this account, I keep thee here confined 
Wishing to nourish thee, and not expose 800 

To be the sport of these vain promisers. 
And simply now I would grant all thy mind, 
Except to drain milk from the treasurer. 


Wise, to a certainty, was he who said, 

" Judge not before you hear the speech of both." 

You now appear to me by far superior. 

So that, with ire relax'd, I cast away 

The staff— but oh ! — associates and coevals. 

Obey, obey my speech, and be not senseless. 

Nor very crabbed and inflexible. 810 

Would I some kinsman or relation had 

To give me such advice ! — and now some god 

Aids thee, in this affair, with his clear presence. 

And manifests his benefits — which thou 

With readiness receive. 

Bde. Indeed I will 

Nourish and give him all an old man needs. 
Pottage to lick, a soft robe, goat-skin garment, 
A nymph to rub his members and his loins. 
Yet he is silent, muttering not a word. 
This cannot please me. 

Cho. He hath turn'd his mind 8S0 

Upon his present state and former greatness ; 
For now he knows and thinks upon his fault. 
That he would not obey thine exhortations. 
But haply now to these thy words obedient 
He's wise, and putting off his former manners. 
Submits himself to thee. 

Phi. Alas ! Alas ! 

Bde. Wherefore cry out to me ? 

Phi. Beguile me not 

With promises like these — it is my pleasure 
To be where cries the herald — ** Who has not 
Yet given his suffrage ? — Let him rise" — and may 830 
I stand prepared to drop my calculus 

800—850.] THE WASPS. 197 

The last of all into the ballot-box. 

Hasten^ O soul — where is my lurking spirit^? 

By Hercules, no more among the judges 

Cleon could I convict of peculation. 
Bde. O Father, by the gods, obey my voice. 
Phi. Obey thee ? — why ? — save one thing, speak thy will. 
Bde. What is it? let me know. 
Phi. To keep from judging. 

This, Hades shall decree, e'er I obey. 
Bde. Thou, therefore, since the courts are thy delight, 840 

Descend not thither, but, remaining here. 

Administer the law to thy domestics. 
Phi. • Concerning what dispute ? why banterest thou ? 
Bde. Whatever is done here. When, secretly, 

The servant-maiden has unclos'd the door. 

Her only shalt thou fine for the offence. 

And this is what thou still art wont to do. 

According to right order — if the morn 

Resplendent shine, by sun-light thou wilt judge; 

But if it snow or rain, the fire-side, then, 850 

Will be thy seat of judgment : — should'st thou wake 

At noon day, yet will no Thesmothetes 

Exclude thee from the forum «. 
Phi. This delights me. 

irdptc & ffKiepd, 

This passage is a parody of the Bellerophon of Euripides, 

vdpeg, & (TKupd tjtvXKdg, ifirsppd 
KpTivaia vdwri* 

The poetical epithet oKupd applied to the soul will perhaps remind the reader of 
Adrian's beautiful line, addressed to his soul, 

Pallidula, rigida, nubila, 

B olhic a diroKXehei OefrfwOertic ry KiyKXidt, There were at Athens ten ma- 
gistrates called archons, viz. the king, archon, the polemarch, and six Thesmothets, 
so called because they had the care of the laws and whatever related to the courts 
of justice. To these judges, who were chosen each from his own tribe, the Scholiast 
adds another, the scribe. Whoever of these, when cited to the diet, failed to ap- 
pear in proper time, was excluded, dvb Trjg KiyKXidog, (see y. 124.) and lost his 
fee of three oboli. The word KiyKXidtg properly denotes the doors of thejudgment- 
hallt Photius ; and KiyKXig is defined by the same lexicographer, 6 tov diKaartiplov 
KdyKiSXog, (cancellus). 

198 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Bde. Besides this^ should a pleader at great length 
Pursue his cause, thou wilt not hungry wait^ 
Wearing alike thyself and the defendant. 

Phi. How then shall I be able, as of yore, 

Rightly to judge affairs, still ruminating? 

Bdb. Far better — since it is a common saying, 

That while the witnesses are speaking false 860 

Digesting judges scarcely know the cause. 

Phi. Indeed thou dost persuade me — but not yet 
Say'st whence my recompense I shall receive. 

Bde. From me. 

Phi. 'Tis well that I apart receive it, 

And not with any other ; for the jester 
Lysistratus hath treated me most basely ^ ; 
Having of late, with me receiv'd a drachma. 
He went and frittered it away in fish. 
Then to my share assign'd three mullets* scales. 
Which in my mouth I placed — imagining 870 

That I received as many oboli : 
But spit them out disgusted with the smell, 
Then dragg'd him into court incontinently. 

Bde. And what said he to this ? 

Phi. What ? why, he said 

That I must have the stomach of a cock ; 
For silver thou wilt soon digest, he added. 

6 ffKutirroXrjg 


is meDtioned again in the Acbarnians, v. 820, as the disgrace of his tribe, together 
with 6 frepi'TTovripoQ 'Aprifnav and Uavcrtov 6 irafnrovtipog' on which passage 
Elmsley quotes AthenaBus, p. 533. £. This low fellow seems here to have played 
a very shabby trick on Philocleon, by giving him three mullets' scales instead of 
his judicial fee of the half drachma. These, he says, " I placed in my mouth"-- 
K&yut Vctcaif/'* which word Palmer interprets by incurvavi dentibus, I bent it with 
my teeth to try whether it were good ; or Kayiov tKayjja, as Florens Christianus 
reads, who imagines that an allusion is here intended to the Greek proverb used 
by iEschylus (Agamemnon, 36.) and Theocritus, quoted by Stanley : fiovg kiri 
yXijjffey fisyag, and applied to such as have an impediment to free speech. — 
Athensus quotes from Alexis — 

6 S* lyKdyjjag rb Kepfi eig riqv yvdOov. 
There appears to have been an Attic coin of the value of two drachmas, stamped 
with the figure of an ox. 

860—900.] THE WASPSi 199 

Bde. (giving money to his father,) Thou seest then how 

much profit thou wilt gain. 
Phi. Not altogether small — but do thy pleasure. 
Bde. Wait now until I come and bring them to thee. 
Phi. Behold, how are the oracles accomplish'd ; 880 

For I had heard that once the Athenians held 

Domestic judgment-seats, and every man 

Erected for himself, before the doors, 

A small tribunal, like a Hecateum', 

For his own practice in the vestibule. 
Bde. What further wilt thou say ? lo, I bring all 

Whate'er I had announced, and many more ; 

« « « * ♦ 

« « « * ♦ 

« « « « ♦ §90 

T^P T^P ^F ^^ ^W 

Bde. Lo, here is fire, and lentils standing near. 

If there be need to sup. 
Phi. This too is well ; 

For tho' I burn with fever, at the least 

I shall receive my fee ; since here remaining 

I may devour my lentils — but for what 

Brought you the bird to me ? 
Bde. That should you sleep 

While any one is pleading, by his song. 

Descending from above, he may arouse thee. 
Phi. One thing I still desire, tho' in the rest 900 

Well pleas'd. 
Bde. What is't ? 

Phi. That thou bring Lycus' imaged 

' The 'EKOLTaiov, or ^EKanXov, was a small shrine or temple of Hecate, i^opoQ^ 
and KovpoTp6<l>os, of which several were erected by the Greeks in various places 
where three roads met ; upon these altars it was customary for the rich to place 
eggs and toasted cheese, especially in the time of the new inoon, to be taken away 
by the poor who casually passed by (see the Plutus, v. 594.) — Our moden^ 
Reformers are probably not aware that their notion of bringing jmtice to every 
man's door, can boast of such high antiquity as is here assigned to it by Philocleoa 
(see the Scholiast on this passage.) 

^ Otiptfiov (i. e. t6 ripifov) rb tov AifKov is to be understood of the.^tablet con* 

goo THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Bde. He's here, O king— and 'tis his very self. 
Phi. O hero, how tremendous to behold ! 

As in our eyes appears Cleonymus*. 
Sos. Nor yet has he, although a hero, arms. 
Bde. If thou wert seated, soon I'd call a cause. 
Phi. Call now, for I long since have sat attentive. 
Bde. Come then, what cause shall I first introduce ? 

Of the domestics which hath done amiss ? 

The Thracian maid who lately burnt a pitcher"™? 910 
Phi. Restrain thyself; since almost thou destroy'st me — 

Without a bar art thou about to judge. 

Which seem'd to us the first of sacred rites"? 
Bde. By Jove, there is none present ; but I'll run 

And bring one hither straightway from within. 

How wonderful this passion for a place ! 
Xan. Go to the crows — to nourish such a dog ! 
Bde. What is the matter, truly ? 
Xan. Hath: not Labes, 

That cur, into the kitchen just now rush'd, 

And snatch'd and eat up a Sicilian cheese**? 920 

Bde. This is, in truth, the first charge to be brought 

Before my father — come thou and accuse him. 

taining the eflfigy of the hero Lycus, as it appears in the judicial forum, without the 
presence of which this lover of lawsuits would scarcely think himself to be in the 
forum (see the note on v. 398.) 

1 This similitude strikes Bdelycleon, not merely on account of the huge stature 
of each, but as they are both without arras ; the one being a forensic and not a 
martial hero, the other from having cast his away in battle. — Bergler. 

*^ The name dpavTa in this line most probably denotes a domestic damsel 
brought from Thrace, as ^pv^ (v. 433.) and :^vpa, in the Peace, v. 1112. Instead 
of 'TrpoffKavffoffa in this line, Florens Christianus thought that the true reading 
was TTpoffBpavaaffa, having broken, and this certainly appears preferable, although 
unsupported by manuscript authority. 

" dvtv Spv^ppoLK rov rriv diKriv fisXKtiQ KoXeXv, This alludes^ to a barrier of oak 
or other wood, within which the priest officiated at the sacrifices. Philocleon has 
such veneration for the place and act of judgment, that, as Bergler observes, he 
speaks of them as of religious rites or mysteries. 

• This alludes to the expedition into Sicily in the second year of the Ixxxviii. 
Olympiad, under the conduct of Laches, who is here designed by the dog Labes, 
a name very appropriate to the canine race from his propensity to take or snatch 
whatever may be in his way, or, according to the Scholiast, aTrb tov \ap.^dvtiv 
Oripia (see note on v. 247.) 

910—940.] THE WASPS. 001 

Xan. By Jupiter, not I — but t'other dog 

Says that he will prefer the accusation, 

Can any one but introduce the action. 
Bde. Come now, and lead them hither. 
Xan. We must do so. 

Phi. But what is here ? 

Bde. 'Tis the domestic pig-sty p. 

PHir Then bearest thou a sacrilegious hand ? 
Bde. Not so, but that from Vesta auspicating ^^ 

One I may immolate. 
Phi. But haste to bring on 9S0 

The cause ; for I look to the punishment. 
Bde. Come now, I'll bring the tablets and the stylus. 
Phi. Ah me I with these delays thou wilt destroy mC'— 

But I had need of space to mark my furrows **. 
Bde. Behold! 

Phi. Now summon. 

Bde. I'm about it. 

Phi. Who 

Appears th^ first ? 
Bde. a plague on't ! how I grieve 

That I've forgotten the judicial urn ! 
Phi. Ho, whither runnest thou ? 
Bde. After the urns. 

Phi. By no means ; for I had these jills. 
Bde. Most right. 

For all things that we need are present to us, 940 

Except at least the clepsydra. 

P — XOipoKOfittiov ^EffTiac This, according to the Scholiast, was a cer- 
tain cane vessel out of which pigs were £ed ; and the name of Vesta is given to it, as 
it was the custom to fatten this portion of the live stock near the vestibule of the 
house. This bore some resemblance to the judicial barrier, and naturally presented 
itself to the mind of Philocleon as an emblem of his favorite pursuit. 

4 Alluding to the proverb a<ft* *£ariac apxov since in sacrifices they began with 
this goddess. The Scholiast quotes Plato in his dialogue of Euthyphron. 

** The word aXoKi^siv is here, by an obvious metaphor, applied to indenting the 
waxen tablet with a stylus. Fl. Christianus, in a very learned annotation upon 
this line, says that the phrase equally denotes the furrowing a field and finishing a 
verse, whence the expression l3ov<rTpo<j>rid6v ypdipHv, to write after the manner of 
an ox ploughing land. 

202 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. ii. 

Phi. But what 

Is this, if not the clepsydra ? Full well. 
And in your country's fashion, you devise this. 
But fire immediately let some one bring. 
Incense and myrtle-branches from within. 
That to the gods we first may sacrifice. 

Cho. We too will speak words of auspicious omen. 
To second your libations and your prayers ; 
Since generously from the war and strife 
Together are we join'd in amity. 950 

Bde. Begin the rites with favouring acclamations. 

Cho. Phcebus, Apollo, Pythian king, the deed 

Which this man machinates before our doors. 
For all our sakes to prosperous issue lead. 
Now pausing from our labours. lo Paean ! 

Bde. O lord and king Aguieus, who art plac*d^ 
Near to my vestibule, receive this rite, 
Which to my father we devise anew. 
His harsh and rigid manners cause to cease, 
Mingling a little honey with his wrath, 960 

To give the lees a sweetness* ; that henceforth 

■ Iq the vestibule of their houses the Greeks were accustomed to place columns 
in the form of obelises in honour of Apollo oKe^bcaKog or averruncus. This line 
is defective, and supplied by Brunck, who elegantly conjectures that it ended with 
UpofrvXau — the verse then will be : 

ia deffrroT dvd^, ydrov 'Ayvuv, roiffxov rrpoOvpov UponvXaw 
comparing Plautus, Bacchides, ii. 1.3. 

Saluto te vicine Apollo, qui sdibus 
Propinquus nostris accolis veneroque te. 
From this position near the door of the house this god was called Apollo Prostate' 
rius (see Taubmann's note on the Bacchides.) 

' The ffipaiov fikXiroe fiiKpbv here mentioned by our poet, is defined by Galen » 
in his commentary on Hippocrates, quoted by Fl. Christianus, yXvic^ Byj/rifia, or 
rb iyj/i^fuvov yXevKog, as it is defined by the Scholiast. Photius also, in his Lexicon, 
defines it in nearly the same words, rbv iyl/rifikvov olvov koI yXvKv. The Latins 
define it by the word sapa (from dirbg, juice), wine boiled away to one third part 
of its substance. Compare Shakspeare, Macbeth (Act ii. Sc. 3.) — 

The wine of life is drawn, and the mere lees 
Are left this vault to brag of. 
Pliny (N. H. xiv. ix.) says: *'Nam sirsum {aipaiov) quod alii hepsema, nostri, 
sapam appellant, ingenii, non' naturae opus est." When the must, or new wine, 
was boiled down to the one half of its substance, it was called defrutum, and not 

950—990.] THE WASPS. 203 

He may towards men be of a milder nature. 
And pity culprits more than their accusers, 
Weeping with those who supphcate his favour. 
And ceasing from that peevish disposition, 
Till all the nettle's taken from his rage. 
Clio. We hail with hymns and songs your recent office, 
Jn acclamation of your late remarks ; 
For we have borne a friendly mind, e'er since 
We knew thee for a lover of the people, 970 

Such as no younger man. 

SCENE 11. 
The court. — Xanthias, the accuser, a Dog as culprit. 
Bde. If any judge 

Of this helfean court be at the door, 

Let him come in, since we shall not admit him 

When they begin to plead. 
Phi. Who is this culprit? 

How will he be condemn'*! ! 
Xan. Hear now th' indictment— 

A dog of the Cydathenaean tribe 

Brings his complaint against th' Oxonian Labes 

Of great injustice ; for that he alone 

Hath been devouring the Sicilian cheese ; 

His punishment shall be a fig-tree clog. 980 

Phi. Rather a dog's death, should he once be taken. 
Bde. Well, the defendant Labes is in court. 
Phi. O wretch impure ! how like a thief he looks ! 

Grinding his teeth he thinks he shall deceive me. 

But where is the Cydatheniean dog. 

Who prosecutes ? 
Dog. Bow, wow ! 

Bde. This other Labes 

Is here — skill'd both to bark and lick the dishes. 
Sos. \_as a herald.'] Silence, sit down — ascend thou, and ac- 
cuse him. 
Phi. Come now, I'll pour this out and empty it. 
Xan. O judges, this our written accusation 990 


201. THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. ir. 

Ye have already heard — for he hath treated 

Me and the sailors most unworthily ; 

Running into a comer he hath eaten. 

In the Sicilian fashion, a huge cheese. 

And in his dark retreat hath filFd himself. 
Phi. By Jupiter, 'tis true — this nasty fellow 

Hath just now belch'd against me his cheese odour. 
Xan. Nor, when I asked him, would impart to me ; 

And who will have the power to do you good. 

Unless to this dog he cast something too? 1000 

Phi. Has he imparted nothing ? 
Xan. Nought to me. 

His coadjutor. 
Phi. This man's no less warm 

Than is the lentil. [Eating some.'] 
Bde. By the gods, my father. 

Do not condemn beforehand ; at the least 

Ere you've heard both. 
Phi. But, friend, the thing is clear — 

Speaks for itself. 
Xan. Do not dismiss him then ; 

Since of all dogs he eats by far the most. 

In single gluttony — and having sail'd 

The mortar round, devours the cities' crust. 
Phi. And not enough is left me to fill up 1010 

The pitcher's clinks. 
Xan. Chastise him therefore ; since 

One thicket could two robbers ne'er conceal. 

I would not altogether bark in vain, 

If so, hereafter I'll not bark at all. 
Phi. Hi, hi, what crimes has he accus'd him of? 

This man is a furacious article. 

Is not this your opinion too, O cock ? 

By Jove, he nods assent. — Where's the chief justice? 

Let him give me a chamber utensil. 
Sos. Take it yourself— for I am summoning 1020 

The witnesses for Labes to appear. 

Dish, pestle, cheese-knife, chafing-dish, and pot, 

With other culinary utensils. 

1000-1040.] THE WASPS. 2( 

But art tliou oozing still, nor yet set down ? 
Phi. I think that he'll evacuate to-day, 
Bde. Will you not cease to be so harsh and rigid, 

Thus gnawing even the culprits with your teeth ? 

Mount — plead excuse — ^why art thou silent? speak. 
Phi. But he appears not to have aught to say. 
Bde. Not so ; but to my mind he fares the same 101 

As erst th' arraign'cl Thucydides endur'd". 

In mute astonishment be clos'd his jaws. 

Out of the way — for I will plead his cause. 

'Tis hard, O judges, to defend a dog 

From slanderous accusation — yet I'll speak 5 

For be is faithful, and pursues the wolves. 
Phi. Yet he's a robber and conspirator. 
Bde. By Jove, but he's the best of present dogs, 

And equal to the charge of many sheep. 
Pill. But to what end, if he devours the cheese? 10^ 

Bde. Because he fights for thee, and guards the door. 

And is in other ways most excellent. 

But pardon him if he hath stolen aught ; 

For he is not well skill'd to play the harp — 

I wish he had no skill in letters too". 

That he might not accuse us of his crimes ! 

Give ear, O good judge, to my witnesses — 

Ascend thou, O cheese- scraper, and apeak aloud ; 

For thou wert then the qutestor — answer clearly : 

" He was the son of Milcsias the Athenian, a relative of Conon, the adversary of 
Feiicles, bj whom he wai compElted to undergo the seatence of ostracisni, being 
accused of treachery, and not &ble to answer Ihe charge brought against him ; ta 
this suddeo silence our poet pleasantly alludes in the neit line — 

djrdTrXiiKroc i^alpvtn; iyiviTO rds yvaflous. 
He is mentioned by Thucydides, in the first book ol his hislory, as a leader of 
forty ships, and sent to assist Fenclea »ith Agnon and Phormio. There were, as 
n. Chrislianus observes, from the Scholiast, four Athenians named Thucydides ; 
the first «as the son of Milesias, here ipokao of; the second, called the Gettian by 
the Scholiast (erroneously for Gargettian) ; ihe third a Thessalian ; the fourth tho 
■on of Olorus, and the celebrated historian of the Peloponnesian war. 

' This and the following tines are in the common editions given to Fhilocleon i 
but, OS Fl. Chriitianus remarlLS, they aie much more suitable to the character trfr 
Bdelycleon ; I have therefore given them to bim, ss tbe Veaelian Codei also da«. 

206 THE WASPS. [Act n. Sc. ii. 

Hast thou not from the soldiers scrap'd thy gains — 

Yes, I say scrap'd ? 
Phi. By Jupiter, he Ues. 1051 

Bde. O friend, have pity on our sad condition ; 

For this same Labes eats the heads and spines. 

Nor in one situation e*er remains. 

The other is but fit to guard the house ; 

For there remaining he demands a share 

Of whatsoever any one brings in ; 

If not, he backbites. 
Phi. Ah, what evil's this. 

By which I'm soften'd? — some ill influence 

Comes round me, and I am persuaded ! 
Bde. Come, 1060 

I supplicate thee — pity him, O father. 

Where are the children? Mount, O miserables. 

Yelp, ask, entreat, and cry. 
Phi. Descend, descend. 

Bde. I will descend — and yet this word descend 

Hath cheated many — yet will I retire. 
Phi. Go to the dogs. — ^How good 'twere not to sup ! 

For, as I think, my tears would have discover'd 

That I was fiU'd with nothing else than lentils. 
Bde. Escapes he not then ? 

Phi. That is hard to know. 

Bde. Turn, O dear father, to a better mind. 1070 

Here, take this lot, then cast it, with clos'd eyes. 

Into the other urn, and thus absolve him. 
Phi. Not so — for on the harp I am unskill'd. 
Bde. Come now, I'll bring you hither in all haste. 
Phi. Is this the first ? 
Bde. It is. 

Phi. My pebble's in. 

Bde. He's cheated to acquit against his will. 
Phi. Come, let us empty them — how have we striven ? 
Bde. Th' event will show — Labes, thou art absolv'd. 

Sire, sire, what ail'st thou ? 
Phi. Ah me, where is water ? 

Bde. Erect, erect thyself. 

1050—1100.] THE WASPS. 207 

Phi. First tell me this— 1080 

Is he indeed absolv'd ? 

Bde. He is, by Jove. 

Phi. I can no more. [Jainting.'] 

Bde. Friend, trouble not yourself, 

But stand upright. 

Phi. How shall I to myself then 

Be conscious of a criminal acquitted ? 
What must I suffer ? — but, O deities. 
Thrice honour'd, pardon me the deed, which I, 
Unwilling, not of purpose, have committed. 

Bde. Bear it not ill, for liberally, O father, 

I'll rear thee, leading everywhere with me 

To feasts, to dinner, to the spectacle ; 1090 

So that with pleasure thy remaining life 

Thou wilt consume — nor shall Hyperbolus 

Deride thee and deceive. — But let us enter. 

Phi. Even so now, if you please. 

Cho. Go on rejoicing 

Where'er you will; and ye, unnumber'd myriads, 

Take heed to words that shall be wisely spoken, 

Lest they unprofitably fall to earth. 

For this from inconsiderate spectators. 

And not from you, 'twould be our lot to suffer. 

Now therefore hither bend your mind, O people, 1100 

If the pure truth ye love — for now the poet 

Wishes to cast some blame on the spectators ; 

For he complains of injuries receiv'd 

Of you, whom first he treated liberally. 

Assisting other bards, not openly. 

But with his secret aid, in imitation 

Of the prophetic skill of Eurycles^ ; 

J The former of these lines, which are of a highly comic character, alludes to 
our poet bringing upon the stage his three first comedies under the bonowed oame 
of some contemporary poet, as of Philonides and Callistratus, not being then of the 
age required by law to contend for the dramatic prize. According to the Scholiast, 
Eurycles was an Athenian prophet, called kyy a(TTplfiv9oCi or ventriloquiit, because 
he was reported to utter his predictions by the aid of an indwelling divinity. Hence 
soothsayers were denominated tyyatrrplrat and 'EvjOvicXcT^ac. The comparison 
here made by our poet of himself to this seer is very amusing, and conceived 

208 THE WASPS. [Act ii. Sc. ii. 

Descending into foreign stomachs, there 
Full many comedies he poured forth. 
But after this he tried his native strength^ 1110 

Ruling his own, not other muses' tongues. 
Then rais'd to an unequall*d height of honour. 
He has not yet^ he says, attain'd the summit ; 
Nor swells his mind, elated in its pride, 
Nor tries he the palaestra in his revels ; 
Nor, should a lover, angry that his flame 
^ Is jeer'd in comedy, hasten to him. 
Consents he with good-natur'd mind to yield, 
Lest he a pander to his muses prove. 
He says, besides, when he began to teach, 1120 

That he attacked not men, but with the force 
Of Hercules with monsters huge engag*d. 
Straight from the first and boldly undertaking 
To stand against this wretch with saw-like teeth. 
Forth from whose eyes shone Cynna's direst rays. 
While hundred heads, in hideous circle join'd. 
Of most abandoned flatterers lick*d his round. 
He had a torrent's voice, engendering dieath, 
Odour of seal, with Lamia's unwash'd limbs *, 
And camel's fundament. Seeing this monster, 1 130 
He said that fear induc'd him not with gifts 
Its fury to appease, but still even now 

m a spirit of refined irony. The French translator, in a note, well describes 
the power of vaticination possessed or pretended to by Eurycles — *' Get Eurycles 
6tait un devin d'Athenes, qui portait, disait ondans son ventre, le genie qui 
I'inspirait." The first of his plays which Aristophanes openly acknowledged was 
theKnightSi and in which he was himself constrained to perform the part of Cleon. 
* This monster, Lamia, otherwise called Mopfiut or M op/xoXvfcciov, is applied as 
an epithet or cognomen to Cleon, Qhe Knights, v. 609.) It was a bugbear similar 
to that whose illusions under the name of Empusa, and in the various forms of a 
cow, a mule, or a woman, are so humorously related in the Frogs, (v. 285.) 
Bergler quotes a fragment of Lucilius, descriptive of this terrible bugbear. 

Terriculas Lamias, Fauni quos Poropiliusque 
See also Horace, (ad Pis. 340.) 

Neu pransaB Lamiae vivum puerum extrahat alveo. 

It appears from the Scholiast that Pherecrates wrote a comedy on the subject of 
the Lamia which is alluded to in v. 1 177. (Bergler.) 

II 10— 1160.] THE WASPS. 

He fights for yoc, and says that the past year, 
Quotidian fevers he attack'd with it. 
Strangling by night the sires and grandsires both; 
And who, reclin'd at ease upon their beds. 
Against the least litigious of your number; 
Together glued defendants' oaths, citations, 
And testimonies. — So that many leap'd, 
Impell'd by terror, to the polemarch' 1140 

Such warder off of evils having found, 
And purger of this land, in the past year 
Ye have betray'd him'', scattering newest counsela, 
Which, by not knowing clearly, ye have made 
Incapable to grow, — and in libations, 
Full oft has utter'd such sweet comic strains, 
He swears by Bacchus that he ne'er heard better. 
Which it is base you had not straightway known, 
But in no worse esteem among the wise 
Our bard is held, because be wreck'd his hopes 1 150 
When he had driven his rivals from the field. 
But, O my friends, admire and cherish more. 
Such bards as seek to ulter something new, 
And fresh discoveries malce — preserve their thoughts, 
Laying them by with apples in your chests; 
This, if you do throughout the year, your garments 
Shall of dexterity be redolent. 
S.-C. O we, who once were ardent in the dance ', 

And brave in fight, of all men most courageous; 

But this is of old date — 'tis past— and now, 1160 

■ 'i'his was one of Ihe nine orcbona parliculaily authorized to take cogniianco of 
strangers and foreigners who sojourned at Alhens. To this power Fu I magistrate 
those nha stood in netd of assistance uaturall; had recourse for patronage nnd 
support in legal or other difEculties. 

'• AristDplisaes here complaias of the Athenian judges, nho in the preceding 
jear had condemned his first comedy of the CIouiJs, and driven him contumeliously 
from the &tage. in favour of Cratinus and Amipsias. 

' iDvemizius rightly, as ( think, agrees with Bmnck in attrihuting this 
sptiech to the lemichoriiB, although against the old editions, and the opioloa of 
Florens Christianus, who considers the 6/st line of this animated trochaic apos- 
trophe to the brave season of their youth, to be taken from the old provtclial 
senarius applied to the Imidatoret (frnporii iii:li, and quoted in Ihe I'lalui, (vv. 1002 
— 1075.). jroXoi irdf ^"av oXeipni MiX^nioi. 

VOL. ri. ^ 


210 THE WASPS. [Act hi. Sc. i- 

These hairs of ours are whiter than the swan : 
Yet, even from the remains, may be conjectur'd 
Our youthful vigour — hence I deem my age 
Superior to the locks of many youths, 
Both in appearance, and broad fundament. 
Cho. Should any one among you, O spectators. 
Survey my form, and wonder to behold me 
Squeez*d in the middle to a wasp's dimensions^ 
Or what should be the meaning of this sting, 
I clearly will instruct him, tho' before 1170 

He were a stranger to the Muses* art. 
We of the stinging tail are justly calPd, 
Sole, native born, indigenous Athenians, 
The bravest race, and chiefly wont to aid 
This city in her battles, when arriv'd 
The barbarous monarch, and with smoke and fire 
Laid waste the whole — threatening to take from us. 
By violence the hornets — for with spear 
And shield, straight rushing on, we fought with them. 
Boiling with anger, standing man to man, 1180 

Eating his very lip from indignation. 
Under their darts we could not see the sky. 
Yet, by the gods' assistance, we repell'd them 
At eventide ; for ere the fray began, 
An owl flew past our army — then we followed, 
Pursuing them like tunnies into nets ; 
Stung in the cheeks and brows, away they fled. 
So that, even now, with the barbarians, nought 
Has a more brave name than the Attic wasp. 

S.-C. Then truly I was bold, nor dreaded aught ; 1 190 

And routed, sailing thither in my galleys, 
The adversaries' force. — Since then, we car'd not 
To speak aright, or to calumniate any. 
But our ambition was to be best rower. 
Having then taken many a Median town, 
Hither we causM the tribute to be brought. 
Which now the younger depredators steal. 

Cho. Regarding us full often, you will find us 
Most like to wasps in manners and in life. 

1170—1220.] THE WASPS. 211 

For firsts no irritated animal 1200 

Is more irascible than we, or peevish. 

Then, we resemble wasps in all our schemes ; 

For gathered, like the hornets, into swarms, 

Some near the archon, others with th' eleven. 

These in th' Odeon carry on their suits ^, 

And others, clustering round the walls, reclin'd 

On earth, like worms, scarce move within their cells, 

And we 're most ready to provide subsistence : 

For we sting all men, and so gain a living : 

But drones among us sit without a sting, 1210 

Who at their leisure eat our tribute's produce. 

Not sharing in the toil — but this afflicts us 

With heaviest woe, if any one, not train'd 

To battle, bear away our salary. 

Not taking in defence of this our land 

Oar, spear, or pustule — but to speak concisely, 

I think, that whatsoever citizen 

Has not a sting, should take no salary. 


Philocleon, Bdelycleon. 

Phi. Ne'er while I live will I put off this cloak. 

For it has been my sole defence in war, 1220 

When mighty Boreas was array'd for us®. 

<* The Od6on was built by Pericles, in the form of a theatre, OeaTpondi^g, 
(Schol.), where musicians and tragedians recited their compositions to the people. 
It was here also that the distributions of corn were made, and as this led to fre- 
quent disputes and litigation, the presence of the archon and the eleven criminal 
magistrates, called afterwards detTfio^vXaKeg, was required to settle them. Aris- 
tophanes (who neyer loses sight of his chief object) in this passage means to 
insinuate that no part of Athens was free from judgments and tribunals. 

< It appears more natural to refer this line, with the Scholiast, to the violence of 
the north wind, which, blowing from mount Pelion, terribly harassed the Persian 
fleet at the battle of Artemisium, so minutely described by Herodotus (Polymnia, 
clxxxviii. — cxci.), in which the historian asserts that, according to the lowest cal- 
culation, four hundred vessels were totally lost ; than, with Conzius, to imagine 
the Persian king to be denoted by the appellation of Boreas; to whom the Athenians 
afterwards erected a shrine on the banks of the Ilyssus, having first sacrificed to 
him and his wife Orithyia, daughter of Erectheus. 

212 THE WASPS. [Act in, Sc, t. 

Bde. You seem desirous that no good befall. 
Phi. By Jupiter, it no ways profits me. 

For erst, when filFd with fish bak'd on the coals, 

I to the fuller gave three oboli. 
Bde. But let th* experiment be tried, since thou 

Hast once, for good, given up thyself to me. 
Phi. What then demandest thou that I should do ? 
Bde. Dismiss your threadbare cloak, and throw instead. 

This garment round you cloak-wise. 
Phi. Must we then 1230 

Beget and nourish sons, since this of mine 

Would fain now suffocate me'? 
Bde. ' Hold — take this — 

Cast it around you, and prate not. 
Phi. What plague 

Is this, by al the gods ? 
Bde. Some call it Persian. 

And others a frieze gabardine. 
Phi. But I 

Conceived it to be a Th3rm8etian rug. 
Bde. No wonder, for thou ne'er hast been to Sardis ; 

Else hadst thou known ; but now thou know*st not. 
Phi. I ? 

'Tis so by Jove, but it appears to me 

Most like the hairy cloak of Morychus*. 1240 

Bde. No — this is woven in Ecbatana^ 

^ Philocleon says this because his son offers to give him too wann a garmeBt. 
The word [KavvaKrit by which it is here designated, is defined by one of the 
Scholiasts, a kind of jPersian garment, having the hair on one side. The word 
is still preserved in the Persian Kendgh, a silken thread. The Thymaetian 
rug, mentioned in the next line {aiovpav Ovfioirida), was manufactured in 
the Attic burgh Thymstades, of the tribe Hippothomtis, named from the hero 

9 Morychus was a tragic poet of that time, fond of luxurious living, and wearing 
thick hairy garments. He is mentioned again in the Acharnians, v. 852, the 
Peace, v. 973, and his generous style of living is commended at v. 506. of this play. 

^ Ecbatana and Susa were the two chief cities of Persia, the latter being the 
residence of the king in winter, and the former in summer. This city was cele- 
brated for the manufacture of elegant garments (see the Acharnians, v. 64.), for 
which Sardis, built under mount Tmolus, appears to have been the place of sale. 


1230—1260.] THE WASPS. 



Are there tripe woofs, then, in Ecbatana'? 


But whence, O friend? since they, by the barbar 
Are woven at great cost;— for this with ease 
Hath swallow'd up a talent's weight of wool. 

lans, J 


This, therefore, should be call'd a wool consumer 
More justly than a shaggy Persian garment. 


Stand still, O friend, awhile, and robe yourself. 


Ah, wretched me ! what heat this cursed robe 
Pours out upon me ! - 


Will you not be cloth'd ? 



By Jupiter, not I— but, if there's need. 
Surround me with a furnace. 



Come then, I 
Will cast it round thee— enter thou within. 



At least, let down a flesh-hook. 


Wherefore this? 



To take me out ere I dissolve away. 



Come now, put oiFyour detestable shoes. 
And quickly don these slippers of Laconia ^ 



What! shall I ever condescend to wear 
The worn-out sandals from our enemies? 



Place your feet in them, friend, and stoutly take 
Your way to the Laconian territory. 

1260 i 


You wrong me, forcing this, my foot, to walk 
Towards the hostile country. 



Come, the other. 


By no means that — since of the fingers, one 
Is altogether a Laconian hater. 



. It can't be otherwise. 


Unhappy I, 
Who, in my old age, cannot take a chilblain ! 



Make haste and put it on— then, like the rich. 

' 'P 

oiCKC x"^'^- Philocleon here compatea Ihe wooily promineaeea on these gar- 


lo the crisp intestines qf an oi, and named either from roceiving the liver 


v), or from its hollowness (Aizh roD KmUr^To^). 

» The more elegant kiDil of men's shoas came from Laconia, as those 

, of the 


\ froni SiejOQ. Philocleon objects to the former thai they are worn 

, hy ths 



OM al \ht emetuli Cethigi. 


214 THE WASPS. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

Step with this delicate and mincing air. 
Phi. Come, view my mien, and then consider which, 1270 

Of all the wealthy, I'm most like in gait. 
Bde. Which ? to a boil wrapp'd in a garlick poultice. 
Phi. Truly, I have a wish to wag the tail. 
Bde. Come now, — wilt understand to speak grave words 

Before the learn*d and dexterous of mankind ? 
Phi. I will. 

Bde. What words, then, canst thou speak? 

Phi. Full many. 

First, how the Lamia utter'd doleful sounds 

When caught; then, how Cardopion beat his mother'. 
Bde. Count not to me your fables — but such talk 

Of men, as we are wont to have at home. 1280 

Phi. I truly know this of domestic tales, 

How, that of old, there was a mouse and weasel. 
Bde. " O foolish and unlearn'd" — thus, in reproach, 

Theogenes said to the scavenger: 

Among men, pratest thou of mice and weasels? 
Phi. What themes, then, must we choose? 
Bde. Weighty and grave. 

Such as — * how hast thou the religious functions 

With Androcles and Clisthenes fulfilled ? ' 
Phi. But I have seen no games, except at Paros, 

And, for that sight, I paid two oboli. 1290 

Bde. But you must tell us how Ephudion fought" 

' This, according to the Scholiast, is the beginning of a story well known at Ibe 
time — the verb tTvxl/sv is wanted to complete the sentence. Philocleon being 
interrupted in his speech in the same manner as Mnesilochus is by the woman in 
the ThesmophoriazusiE, (v. 563.) The story of the mouse and weasel, as well as 
the reproof cast upon the scavenger by Theogenes (or more probably Theagenes, see 
the Birds, v. 822 — 1175.), are old wives' tales of the same stamp. Androcles and 
Clisthenes, mentioned a few lines below, were two vile and despicable contempo- 
raries of our poet, whom he names, Trapd TrpotrdoKiav, as discharging the high 
office of Oscjpolt or inspectors of sacred rites, oracular consultations, games, etc., 
for which they received a stipend from the public chest. This no doubt is intended 
as a sty rebuke to the Athenians, who were in the habit of entrusting their embassies 
to such mean persons. 

*" Ephudion the Maenalian and Ascondas appear to have been athletes; the 
former of whom is reported to have been victorious at the Olympic games. The 
same story is alluded to again by Philocleon, at v. 1523, with the characteristic 

1270—1310.] THE WASPS. 

In the pancratium nobly with Ascondas, 

Already old and grey, but deep in chest; 

With hands and Banks, and cuirass excellent. 
Phi. Cease, cease, thou talk'st of nothing — how could one, 

Arm'd with a breastplate, fight in the pancratium ? 
Bde. Thus are the wise accustoni'd to confer. 

But tell me one thing more— with stranger guests 

When drinking, what achievement, in your youth 

Perform'd, of manliest nature, would'st thou tell? 1300 
Pill. That, that of all my actions was the bravest. 

When silently I stole Ergasion's props °. 
Bde. Thou killest me. — What props? rather relate 

How, formerly, thou hast pursued a boar. 

Or hare, or run with unextinguish'd torch". 

Or any other sport of vigorous youth. 
Phi. I truly know a feat most juvenile : 

When, being yet a sturdy boy, I won. 

Against Phaiillus, by two suffrages''. 

Damages in a cause of defamation. 1310 

Bde. Cease, and, reclining here, learn thou besides 

To be a talkative convivial fellow. 
Pm. And how shall I recline ! come, tell me quickly. 
Bde. In the most seemly fashion. 

garrulity of age. like Shalcspeare'a Jnslice Shallow, so full of his juveaile remioiS' 
ceuces, as of Sir J, Falstaff breaking ScoEan's head at the court gale, etc. (and 
pan of Henry IV., Act III. Se. 2.) 

° All that we know of this Ergasion is, that he was a rustic, and as we may 
gather from this line, the proprietor of a vineyard -, oi x^patti: are the props to 
whicli he trained his vines, see v. 1291. This word in the masculine denotes the 
stakes used in forlificatio::. 

See the Frogi, v. 1113. and note, and compare Lucretius, ii. 78. 

P He was a Crotonian, and an eicoileni runoer at the Olympic games, whose 
Bwiflness offoot was celebrated before in I AeJcAarniani, (v. 215.) He is also said 
to have gained three victories at the Pythian games. Fiotena Chriitianua and 
Brunck remark the characteristic manner in which Fhilocleon applies to his 
victory in the forum terms peculiar to the race, in the line 

cIXp^ Stiiiruv \oidopiac i^ij^otir Zvdiv. 
He is here called (Boiin-ai;, which exactly answers to Slender's eipression in the 
Merry Wives of Windsor, (Act V. Sc. 6,) a great lubberly boy. 


216 THE WASPS. [Act iir. Sc. i- 

Phi. Is it thus 

You charge me to recline ? 
Bde. By no means. 

Phi. How then ? 

Bde. Extend your knees^ and in gymnastic fashion 

Anoint you on the couch with oil and water. 

And after, praise one of the brazen vessels. 

Survey your roof, admire the tapestry 

Extended thro* the hall^, demand to pour 13^0 

Water upon our hands, bring in the tables. 

We sup — are wash'd — and then make our libations. 
Phi. Now, by the gods, Hve we on visions here ? 
Bde. The female minstrel hath begun to blow. 

The guests are i£schines, Theorus, Phanus ', 

Cleon, another at Aces tor's head. 

And, since thou art in company with these, 

See that thou well take up the festal strain. 
Phi. Truly ? like no one of the mountain tribe •. 

4 Kp€Kddt aiikriQ 9avfia<Tov, The meaning of this passage is much contro- 
▼erted ; the word KptKaha, which some commentators interpret of musical instru- 
ments played in concert, occurring in no other ancient author. Bisetus reads 
Kal iKpidi avXijg ; but this is mere conjecture. The explanation of Brunck appears 
to me the most natural and unforced ; who considers Kpneddia as synonymous with 
vapairkraafia or lariovpyrifiaTa, It can scarcely mean the melody^ as this was 
not applied to as an adjunct to the feast, but at its termination — as Bdelycleon says 
a few lines below, aiXriTpic kvt<pv9ri<Ttv. The texture and beautiful figures 
wrought on the ancient tapestry were, as they deserved to be, objects of especial 
admiration, (see Theocritus, Adoniaz. v. 78, and sqq.) where the woven hangings 
of Alexandria are called dccSi/ vepovofiaTa ; and compare Sappho, (Frag, xxiv.) 

yXvKEia MorfijO, ovroi dvvafiai KpsKtiv rbv 1(Tt6v. 

* The first named of these guests was the son of Sellus, mentioned again in v. 
1283. Phanus was probably some low person of that time whom poverty coq> 
strained to sup in a sparing manner. Bergler imagines that KXjbcjv and ^ivoc riQ 
sTtpoc denote one and the same person, but it appears better to adopt the elegant 
conjecture of Brunck, or rather Bentley ('AKEffropog), which Invernizius has re- 
ceived into the text, instead of the common 'AKktrrtpoQ ; the words will denote 
another guest reclining at the head of Acestor, although the Scholiast says that 
Acestorus was a foreigner lampooned under the name of Sacus, Instead of ^kvog 
Tig IsTEpoQ, G. Burges proposes to read 'Ava^ayopag, in derision of whom that 
learned critic supposes Aristophanes to say, altering, in a slight degree, the words 
of Alcsus, 6 vovg ijv rig 6 fiaivofievog* 

* aXriBtgt tjg oifdelg AiaKpicjv Sk^trai ', as Florens Christianus reads th^ Hqq, 

ISgO— 1350.] THE WASPS. a 

Bde. First I will sing, for I, in truth, am Cleon, 13; 

Harmodius' melody' — and follow thou. 
There never yet was an Athenian man — 
Phi. a robber of such vast audacity. 
Bde. Will you do this?— Your bawling will undo you. 
For he declares that he'll destroy you quite, 
And drive you from this land. 
Phi. And I, forsooth, 

Howe'er he threat, by Jove, will sing another. 
O man, infuriate thus with pride. 

And mighty violence of thine. 
The city thou wilt turn aside, 13 

Which now is nodding to decline. 
Bde. But when Theorns, 

Reclining at your feet, and taking Cleon 
By the right hand, should sing, " O friend, who art 
Instructed in Admetiis' history ", 
Cherish the virtuous" — by what scolion would'st tho 

Phi. In lyric strain would I. 

" We cannot use the fox's guile, 

Nor wear to both a friendly smile." 
Bde. Next ^schines. 

The son of Sellus, poet and musician", 1350 

in order to preserve the inlegrilj of the iambic Benarius, iastead of the common 
oiiiiis yi AiaEpiuv iciiUTni. According [a tha laws o! Solon, the Atheniaa 
lemtoiy was divided into three regions, the Paraloi, or maritime, the PediKi, or 
inhaliitants of the plain, and the Diactii, or those of the hill country. Faodion is 
said to have distributed the last among hi& sons, and to have given the principality 
to Lycua, the region about the city, together with the citadel, to ^geus, Ihe mari- 
time district to Fallas, and the IMegaHc to tiisaa. 

• This is the celebrated scolioo of Callislratui, usually sung at festal entertain- 
menls by Ihe Greeks, in order to keep alive the patriotic feelings of the guests — 
beginning Iv jiipTov tKaSi tb £<^oc ifop-iiaoi, and oflen alluded to by our poet. 
(See particularly the Acharalans (v. 942, 1 0530. and the note on the former pas- 
sage). Each of the live guests is supposed to sing a song in his turn, which Philo- 
cUon, who begins with a siraia of Alcans, pcrverls to a ridiculous sense, and chieHy 
against his former friend and oracle Cleon. 

° This scolion is variously attributed to Alcsus, and Sappho ; but the Scbottast 
gives it lo Praiilla, ft poetess of that time who wrote convivial aongs, da/iaTa iro. 

tdc- (See Heyi 




218 THE WASPS. [Act in. Sc. i. 

Shall thus take up the song. 

" May affluence with power agree ^ 

To crown Clitagoras and me 
With all Thessalia's force to aid." 
Phi. Much dissipation thou and I have made. 
Bde. In this thou hast been very well instructed ; 

But we must go to sup at Philoctemon's. 

Boy, Chryses, boy, prepare the supper for us, 

That we sometime may revel. 
Phi. By no means ; 

To drink is evil— for from wine arises 1360 

Breaking of doors, blows, stoning, and the money 

That must be paid down when the headache's past. 
Bde. Not if you meet with good and honest men. 

For either they console the sufferer. 

Or thou relates t some humorous tale to rouse 

The hearer's laughter, an iEsopic fable, 

Or Sybaritic jest ', out of the stock 
, Of those which thou hast learn'd in the Symposium. 

And when to laughter thou hast turn'd the subject. 

Having dismissed thee, he departs the assembly. 1370 
Phi. Then must I learn a multitude of fables, 

At least if I may sin and suffer nothing. 

Come, let us go now, nor let aught detain us. 


Oft have I thought myself a clever fellow. 
Nor ever foolish — but Amunias, 
The son of Sellus, of the Crobuli *, 

7 This ode is the production of Clitagoras, a woman of Thessaly, whose inhabi- 
tants assisted the Athenians in the war against the thirty tyrants. 

* Aiffiairucbv ykXoiov ri Y^vfiapiTiKov. The Scholiast establishes a difference 
between these two kinds of apologues or jocular fables — that the former related to 
man, the latter to quadrupeds. According to the same authority, founded on a 
passage of Plato the comic writer, the great Samian fabulist ^sop was resusci- 
tated after death. 

Koi vvv 6fio<T6v fioi fi^ TeOvdvai rb oCjfi' lyw 

if/v^i) d* dnb viKriQ tUffirep Aitrutnov ttotI. 

Bergler however does not believe in the reality of this distinction. 

*■ ^schines and not Amunias was the son of Sellus ; but our poet is desirous of 
satirizing the wretched poverty of both at the same time. By the Crobuli may be 

1360—1390.] THE WASPS. 219 

Is more so — him I formerly have seen 
At supper with Leogoras, instead 
Of his accustom'd apple and pomegranate. 
For he's a hungry wretch like Antipho. 1380 

But as ambassador to Fharsalus 
He is departed — and, when there alone. 
Was conversant with the Thessahan paupers, 
Being no less a beggar than themselves. 
S.-C, O blest Automenes, happy art thou'' 

1 . In our regard ! for sons thou hast begot 
Most skill'd in works of manual industry. 
The first, a friend to all, of greatest wisdom, 
Whom grace attended, an accompliah'd harper. 

The next, a player, hard to say how good ! 1390 

And then Ariphrades, most seeming wise, 
Of whom his father once declar'd on oath. 
That he had learn'd of none but simple nature 
To form the tongues, and enter every bagnio. 
S,-C. There are some, who declar'd me reconcil'd, 

2. When Cleon troubled me, and with reproaches, 
Press'd sore npon me — then, when I was beaten, 

meant either a proper name, or, as Ihe Scholiaal intetprela the word, a man who 
gathers his hair into a bon or knot at the (op of the head, in women called carifm- 
bin, and in bo;ys sci^iui. So In v. 466. he is denomioated irafiiirafiui'ia;. He 
appears to have conducted an emhassy to Fharsalus, a cily orThessaly, and was 
accused by Eupolis of falsifying his Isgatioa. Leogoras, mentioned in (he next line 
but one, was a statesman of that time, and father of Andocides, fond of breeding 
horses and pheasants. See the Scholiast on the Chrndt, v, 110. Antipho was 
a mere pauper. 

'' This must be understood ironically, since Aatomenes could not be regarded 
as an object of envy on account of his sons, two of whom, Arignolui the harper 
and Ariphrades, are severely satirized in Ihe KnigJtIs (». 1275, sqq,)p <"> account 
of their bad dispositions and profligate manners. The third was a player, whose 
name has not been banded down. Ariphrades is said, in v. 1420, to have learned 
from nature " lo/orm ihe (niEgufi and enter evei'y bagnio," where by ■fXuiTTonouiv 
is to be understood yXuTTiSat avXtiTtais Traiiiv, to make the tongues of musical 
instruments. The verses from 1275 to 128 1, which, after Bruni^k, I have given la 
the two semi choruses, Invemizius exhibits as a continuation of the choral song 
beginning jroXXdnif It/ 'Jo£' i/iaur^i iiltbs irifvKii'ai. The metre of these lines 
ii frequently used by ihe comic poets ; they are tetrameters consisting of three lirst 
psons and a cretlc 

and one bne of the second semicboru; is most probably lost. 


220 THE WASPS. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

And shouted out aloud, with distant laugh 

They, who beheld, derided my misfortunes. 

No whit regarding me, but only bent 1400 

To know if e*er affliction would impel me 

To cast forth any jibe— which I perceiving. 

Began to act a grinning monkey's part ; 

Whence now 'tis said, the stake deceives the vine \ 


Xanthias, Chorus. 

Xan. O tortoises, blest in your skin — thrice blest ! 
More than the covering that protects my ribs ; 
How well and wisely you have cover'd up 
Your ridged back, as if to ward off blows ; 
While I to death am wounded by a staff. 

Cho. What is the matter, boy? for by this name 1410 

Must we call him, tho' old, who suffers blows. 

Xan. Was not the old man a most noxious plague. 
And of the guests most temulent by far? 
Although HippuUus, Antipho, and Lycon, 
Were with Lysistratus, and Theophrastus, 
And Phrynichus, assembled there, yet he 
Was the most insolent of all by far. 
For soon as he was filVd with much good cheer 
He leap'd, he frisk'd, and into laughter burst, 
Pleas'd as an ass with barley saturated, 1420 

Then struck me playfully, shouting. Boy, boy ! 
Soon as he saw him, this similitude 
Lysistratus employ 'd — " Old man, thou'rt like 
One of the people's dregs newly enrich'd, 
And pack-ass running to the chaff aside;" 

^ This is a proverbial expression, to denote the failure of what we relied upon 
for support. It is here covertly applied to Cleon, who, trusting too much topopu* 
lar favour, was desirous to deprive Demosthenes and Nicias of their command after 
the affair of Sphacteria, in order that he might himself be appointed to it ; instead 
of which he was fined five talents, as Dicseopolis declares in the opening of the 

1400—1450.] THE WASPS. 

While he in turn with Bhoute resembled him 

To a, pool locust that had cast its skin, 

And Sthenehia robb'd of his furniture; 

They straight applauded, all but Theophmstus, 

Who bit his hps as one of nice discernment ; 1430 

While the old man thus question'd Theophrastus — 

" Tell me, why seemest thou so trim and neat, 

Thou who art wont to play the comic fool, 

And lick each wealthy man in adulation ?" 

Thus he insulted them in turn, deriding 

With rustic contumely, and uttering words 

Most senseless, nought agreeing with the subject. 

Then, after he returns inebriate home, 

If any light on him, he beats ihem all. — 

And lo ! he enters with a tottering pace — 1440 

But I'll move hence ere I'm regal'd with blows. 


Ch^rophon, Bdelycleon, Chorus, and Philocleon as a 
drunken youth, with torches in his hands, followed by a 
Female Baker. 

Phi. Retire, give place'' — whoever follows me. 
He shall deplore his folly. — So that if 
You don't move off, ye wretches, with this torch 
I'll roast you. 

Bde. Truly thou shalt pay to-morrow 

The penalty for this to all of us. 
Spite of your stripHng insolence — for we 
Will come in crowds to summon you to justice. 

Phi. How, summon me ? your words are obsolete ; 

Know you I cannot hear to hear of lawsuits? 1450 

Foh, fob— be pleas'd to cast away the urns. 
Will you not hence ? where is the judge? avaunt. 

^ This futiou! entry of tbe into;iicaled FliilDclcon upon the stage, foUovred by 
several persons whom he has benlen, appears to be a comic parody of a passage in 
Ihe Troades (v. 308. ), which a indicated also by the Scholiast. 

922 THE WASPS. [Act iv. Sc. n. 

Ascend^ thou golden chafer, hitherward, 

Seize and hold fast this cable in your hand, 

But use good caution, for the rope is rotten ; 

Still it bears rubbing not indignantly. 

Thou seest how dexterously I have withdrawn thee, 

Prepar'd already to debauch the guests. 

Wherefore r^urn the favour to these limbs : 

But thou wilt not, I know that ; nor attempt it — 1460 

Who wilt deceive, and loudly laugh at me; 

For many others thou hast treated thus — 

But now, if thou art not a naughty girl, 

I'll free thee, soon as e'er my son is dead. 

And have thee, daughter, for my paramour. 

But now I am not master of my goods ; 

For I am young, and very closely watch'd : 

My little son observes me, and besides 

He is a peevish, cummin-scraping niggard % 

And fears on my account lest I should perish, 1470 

Having no other father but myself. 

Look, he appears to run towards you and me. 

But quickly stand you still and take these torches. 

That I may treat him in the childish fashion. 

Which he did me before the mysteries. 
Bde. Holla, thou old decrepid debauchee. 

Thou seemest to desire a timely grave. 

Nay, by Apollo, thou shalt not continue 

To act unpunish'd thus. 
Phi. How willingly 

Would'st thou devour a suit of vinegar ! 1480 

Bde. Is it not monstrous thus to mock, and steal 

The singing damsel from the revellers ? 
Phi. What singing damsel ? wherefore jest you thus. 

« This line is expressed after the manner of Aristophanes by two words, KoXXutc 
KvnivoirpuTTOKapdafioyXvipov' by which sesquipedalian epithet, as Fl. Christianas 
observes, Philocleon denotes the irascible and niggardly disposition of his son. 
See the Scholiast. — ^Theocritus (!'. 55.) KaTairpitav rh KVfiivov, who appears to 
have taken his interpretation from Hesychius — xaOct tiu)9afiev To()g ayav 0ei^ai- 
\o^Q KvpLivoitpUrraQ kclKHv ** avaxfi, et colere diviseur de cumin, et graveur avec 
du cresson." (French translator,) 


-1500.] THE WASPS. 
As from the tomb escap'd ^? 



By Jupiter, 
This must be the Dardanian maid^. 



Not so, 
But in the forum to the gods a torch 
Is burning. 



This a torch ? 


A torch in truth; 
See you not how 'tis colour'd ? 


But what's that 
So black i' th' midst of it ? 


The pitch that oozes 
Out of the burning substance. 


Is not this 
The hinder part ? 



It is the torch's branch 
That hangs out so. 


What sayest thou ? what branch ? 

Wilt thou not thither go? 


Ha, ha, what art thou 
About to do l 



Take it away from thee 
And bear it off, judging thee to be rotten, 
And impotent in action. 



Hear, now, me : 
When a spectator at th' Olympic games, 
I saw Eupliudion beat Ascondas bravely, 
Already old — then, having overthrown him. 


The elder slew the younger with his fist ; 


Wherefore take heed lest thou receive black eyes 


By Jove, thou well hast learnd th' Olympic art. 


Come, help me, I entreat you by the gods ; 
For this is he who struck me with his torch, 


rjTfp airi Tun^ov ttib^v. That is, aa if you had fallen from your «i 



)u jTfocii/- eiprcssed in the language of a young man addressed to 

an old 

K The female pipers among tlie Greeks were mosUj from Dardania, a 

nd the 


ans were the first nha were said to have hollowed out the box wood, 

and to 

have made the ^ovav\ia, i. e., the siagle and unequal flutes, «bich were 

: after. 

eichanged for the double and equal ones, suiwble to convivial fealivi' 


224 THE WASPS. [Act iv^ Sc. hi. 

And to my loss hath cast away my loaves, 

Ten oboli, and four to make up weight. 
Bde. Seest thou thy work ? trouble and litigation 

We needs must have through your intemperance. 
Phi. By no means ; since a few facetious words 

Will soon arrange this matter — for I know 1510 

By what means to be reconciled with her. 
Art. Nay, by the goddesses, thou shalt not treat 

Myrtia, the daughter of Ancylion 

And Sostrata, thus with impunity, 

Destroying all her wares. 
Phi. O woman, hear ; 

I wish to tell a pleasant tale to you. 
Art. Nay, not to me, by Jove, thou foolish wretch. 
Phi. As i^sop went one evening home from supper, 

A certain bold and drunken cur bark'd at him. 

And then he said, ^' O dog, dog, could'st thou buy 

Some wheat instead of thine abusive tongue, 1521 

Thou would'st appear to me to act more wisely." 
Art. Derid'st thou me besides ? ^vhoe'er thou art, 

I summon thee before the market judges**, 

For damage done to my commodities, 

Whereof I hold this Chaerephon to witness. 
Phi. By Jupiter, but hear what I shall say : 

Once Lasus and Simonides contended ^ 

When Lasus said, " 'Tis no concern of mine." 
Art. Is't so in truth ? 
Phi. To me, O Chaerephon, 1530 

Thou seem'st to witness for a pallid woman ^ ; 

Euripidean, Ino feet suspended ^ 

*> wpbs Tor)s dyopavofiovQ' see the Achamians, v. 688, and the DOte on that 

* Simonides, the celebrated lyric poet, had many rivals, and among others this 
Lasus of Hermione, an excellent musician, who is said to have been the first to in- 
stitute cyclic or dithyrambic choirs, and added considerably to the compass of the 
ancient music. 

^ The pale hue of Chaerephon, the disciple of Socrates, as well as the futile na- 
ture of his philosophical speculations, is noticed in several passages of the Clouds, 
and in two lines of the Birds he is likened to a bat (1296 and 1564.) 

1 Alluding, as the Scholiast informs us, to the tragedy of Euripides denominated 

lolU— 1550.] THE WASPS. 226 

Bde. Here coined another man, as it appears 
To summon thee^ with his apparitor. 


Enter an Accuser tvith a Bailiff. 

Ace. Ill-fated me ! old man, I summon thee \to Philocleon. 

For wrongs committed. 
Bde. Wrongs ? nay, by the gods, 

Summon him not — for in his stead will I 

Make thee amends, whate'er thou may'st ordain, 

And own besides an obligation to thee. 
Phi. To him I gladly will be reconcil'd, 1540 

For I confess the pelting and the blows. 

But first come hither — dost thou trust to me 

What money I should render for this deed ; 

That I in time to come may be thy friend ; 

Or wilt thou state it to me ? 
Ace. Say it thou. 

For I need neither lawsuits nor affairs. 
Phi. a Sybaritic man fell from his car", 

And somehow very badly broke his head. 

Not chancmg to be skill'd in horsemanship. 

And then a friend who stood by said to him, 1550 

^' Let each man exercise his best known art \ 

Thou in like manner run to Pittalus °. 
Bde. ThiSf too, is like the rest of your behaviour. 


'Ivai Kpifiafikvrit that is, standing in a pendnlons posture on a rock, in the act of 
precipitating herself into the sea, and pale with the prospect of her approaching 
death, after having destroyed her sons Learchus and Melicerta. Of this tragedy 
we have only twenty-two fragments remaining, chiefly of a moral and rather 
querulous character. The Scholiast illustrates the word Oa^l/ivri in the preceding 
line by one from Theocritus (^apfiax, 88.) — 

Kai fuv xputc i»^v hftoloQ kylvtro iroXKdKi Od^tp. 

"* avi)p ^vPaplrfjg. Philocleon here begins to narrate a Sybaritic stoiy, in 
order to turn the affair into ridicule (see y. 1392. and the note on that passage.) 

" 'irpbg rd HiTrdKov. The ellipsis here may be supplied either with ^dpficxa 
or ddtfiaTa. See the Achamians (v. 996.), where Tpbc to^q TLirrdkov means df- 
course to the disciples of that celebrated Athenian physician- -^dg. 


226 THE WASPS. [Act iv. Sc. hi. 

Ace. {aside to Bdelycleon.) Do thou at least relate what 

he replied. 
Phi. Listen — fly not — a Sybaritic woman 

Once broke the ballot-box. 
Ace. (aside as be/ore.) Of this I cite you 

To be a witness. 
Phi. Then the ballot-box 

Appeared against him with a certain witness^ 

When thus the Sybarite. — By Proserpine, 

If having let this testimony pass, 1560 

Thou hadst with expedition bought a bandage, 

Thy sense had been the greater. 
Ace. Rally on 

Until the archon call the cause for judgment. 
Bde. By Ceres, here thou shalt no longer stay — 

But having seiz*d thee — 
Phi. What wilt do ? 

Bde. . What do ? 

Bear thee within — if not, the witnesses 

Will quickly fail those who shall summon thee. 
Phi. The citizens of Delphi once accus'd 

iEsop — 
Bde. This is but small concern of mine. 

Phi. That he had stol'n Apollo's cup, when he 1570 

Told to them how a beetle in old time — 
Bde. Bah ! you destroy me with your beetle story °. 

[forces him out. 

Semichorus 1. 

Old man, I praise thy happy fate. 
Whose life and manners have of late 
Been alter*d from their rugged state. 

Now having learn'd a different way, 
Soft luxury wilt thou display; 
Though not a prompt obedience pay. 

o This is the fable Ti^hich ^sop related to the inhabitants of Delphi when they 
were tbout to precipitate him from a rock as a punishment for his sacrilege. The 
same fable is related by Trygsus in the Peace (v. 129, 130.) 

1560-1600.] THE WASPS. 227 

For to shake off the native mind 

That with each mortal was entwin'd, 1580 

Is hard — tho' many are inclin'd. 

And some, when more familiar grown 

With others' thoughts have chang'd their own. 

Semichorus 2. 

For our high praise a proper theme 

Philocles' oiFspring I esteem, 

And the right-minded thus will deem. 

Him for his patriotic love, 

Wisdom which thus could never move. 

And gentle manners I approve. 

For in what strife of words has he, 1590 

Not shown his arguments to be 
Of more convincing potency ? 

The stem from which himself was born 
Willing by actions to adorn. 


Xanthias, alone. 

Xan. By Bacchus, these perplex'd affairs some god 
Hath introduced into our family ; 
For the old man so long hath been carousing 
In joyful mood, and listening to the pipe, 
That all night long he ceases not to dance 
Those ancient steps in which upon the stage 1600 

Thespis p contended, saying that ere long 
He would by dancing show the tragic actors 
Who now exist, to be but ancient fools. 

P Not the inventor of the tragic drama, but a harper of that age. 


228 THE WASPS. [Act v. Sc. ii 


Enter Philocleon, drunk. 

Phi. Who sits at the hall door? 

Xan. The mischief presses. 

Phi. Let the bolts be withdrawn — the dance begins, 
Xan. Rather perhaps *tis the first step in madness. 
Phi. Of one who dislocates his hip by force. 

How blows my nostril^ and the back-bone sounds ! 
Xan. Drink hellebore. 
Phi, Now trembles Phrynicus 

Like any cock p. 
Xan, You'll strike me.- 

Phi. Heels to heaven, 1610 

While gapes the fundament. 
Xan. Look to thyself. 

Phi. Now m our limbs turns round the loose hip-joint^. 
Bde. This is not well, by Jove, but madman's folly. 
Phi. Come now, I summon my antagonists ; 

Whate'er tragedian thinks he dances well, 

Let him come hither and contend with me. 

Speaks any one or none ? 
Bde. Himself alone. 

Phi. Who is this wretch ? 

P Inyernizius has here received into the text Bentley*s coojectural emendation of 
itXrifftTei for the common and no doubt correct reading irriiffoii, which appears to 
be 8u£ficiently defended by a line quoted by Plutarch in his life of Afcibiades, and 
applied to that illustrious Athenian humiliated by the Socratic discipline-^ 

iitrri^*, aXsKTtop dovXov ute KXivag irrkpov. 
The Scholiast says it is a proverb applied to those who suffer some misfortune, and 
alludes to the second Phrynicus, who was fined by the Athenians in a thousand 
drachmas for representing in a tragedy the destruction of Miletus by Darius. 
Brunck considers the common word wrrjaffei as absurd, without giving any reason 
for thinking so, and adopts Bentley's comparatively unmeaning emendation 
vXrfffffti to denote the skill of Phrynicus in dancing. The French and Italian 
translators render the words according to the usual acceptation ; the former by 
Phrynique tremble de peur comme un coq, the latter by Frinico teme, come un gallo, 

1 On this line the French translator well observes — " dans leurs cotyles ; tenne 
d'anatomie — KorvXridwv — Rien n'etait exclus de la poesie des Grecs." 

1610—1640.] THE WASPS. 2J» 

Bde. The son of Carcinus, 

The midst in age^ 
Phi. But he shall be devour'd ; 

For I with strokes melodious will destroy him, 1620 

Since he is nought in rythm. 
Bde. But, O unhappy, 

Another son of Carcinus approaches, 

His brother and a tragic actor too. 
Phi. By Jupiter, then I am well provisioned. 
Bde. 'Tis true, but not with aught excepting crabs. 

For here's another son of Carcinus. 
Phi. What comes on creeping here ? a vinaigrette. 

Or crab with venom stor'd ? 
Bde. This is the shrimp 

Of all his race, a tragic poet too. 
Phi. O Carcinus, blest in thy progeny ! 1630 

What multitudes of wrens have fallen down ! 

But I, O wretch, upon them must descend — 

Mix up the pickle for them if I conquer. 
Cho. Come, let us all yield a short space to them. 

That freely they may whirl top-like before us. 

Semichorus 1. 

O children of illustrious line. 

Whose sire is lord o'er ocean's wave. 
Approach, your sportive choirs entwine 

Where fruitless sand the waters lave*. 
Brothers of shrimps, in circling dance 1640 

Your feet with Phrynic lightness move ; 
And one among your train advance. 

Bearing his lofty heels above ; 

■* Carcinus had four sons, Xenocles, Xenotimus, Xenoclitus, Xenarcfaos, of 
whom three were dancers, and Xenocles a poet The Carcinita appear to have 
been of very diminutive stature. Their father Carcinus is again particularly men- 
tioned in the Cloudst v. 1243, and the Peace, v. 854. and note. 

• wapd &iv a\6c drpvysToto. A hemistich taken from Homer ('1. A'. 316.), 
and humorously applicable to a chorus spinning round with the '•-•--''^ ~~"'^*utions 
of a top (finifiiiKl^dKJiv tavTovg.) 

230 THE WASPS. [Act v. Sc. u. 

That the spectators may the view 
With shouts of wondering joy pursue \ 


Turn round in circles^ and thy stomach beat ; 

Cast your legs heavenward, and like tops become — 

For the great sire, who rules the sea, comes near, 

Pleas'd with his triple row of dancing sons. 

But, if you love the dance, lead us out quickly, 1650 

For no one hath before accomplish'd this*', 

A comic chorus capering to dismiss.^ 

' wZiaviv ol Oearal. This verb, as the Scholiast observes, is formed from &, &, 
a particle expressive of admiration, in the same manner as aia^civ from at, at — 
oifiiitZUv from olfioh and tpev^siv, addressed by the chorus to Cassandra in the 
Agamemnon of ^schylus (v. 1375.), from 0ev. 

" Since, as the Scholiast observes, the chorus enters dancing, but does not make 
its exit in that manner. The Italian translator supposes that in the Phrynic dance 
the performers gave themselves blows on the stomach veith their raised feet — '* £t 
percotteti co'l piede ne'l ventre." 
















The Scene lies in the temple of Ceres and Proserpine* 

N. B. This comedy is a severe satire on Euripides the Misogynist, whose opinion 
of the female race is thus expressed in a line of his Melanippe (Frag, xi.y — 

irXj/v rrjg TtKovtrrig, OijXv wav f/LitrCj ysfioQ, 






The feasts of Ceres and Proserpine lasted five days at Athens, during 
the month of Pyanepsion, (part of October and November) : one day 
of the five was sanctified as a fast. The action of this comedy is 
laid in their temple, where the whole scene passes of which we are 
about to speak. None but women were allowed to be present at 
the celebration of these mysteries, and a similar prohibition took 
place among the Romans at the feasts of the Bona Dea. There 
were two plays of this name ; but it is doubted whether they were 
different pieces, or the same comedy retouched. A passage cited by 
Aulus Gellius xv. cap. 20. &om the first composition, is found in that 
which we have, and we find another cited by Athenseus as if from the 
second ; whence we may conclude with Casaubon, that that which we 
have is the first. As it succeeded very ill, it did but little ^injury to 
Euripides, who is the subject of the irony of Aristophanes throughout 
this comedy. He is also very virulent against the female sex. The 
general subject is the feast of the two goddesses, who were the parti- 
cular objects of the Athenian worship. The women were the ene- 
mies of Euripides, and they take this opportunity of deliberating 
upon his ruin. He wishes to prevent his condemnation, and for thi» 


purpose invents a hundred stratagems. The design of Aristophanes 
was to make him appear as a man cunning and artful. Euripides was 
alive at the time, hut he was very old, as he says to the poet Aga- 
thon in the second act. *' We may discover throughout this play a 
proper intrigue, a knot which is not untied till quite at the end, and 
in this it possesses a great advantage. Euripides, on account of the 
well-known misogyny of his tragedies, is accused and sentenced to 
condign punishment at the festival of the Thesmophoria, at which 
women alone might he present. After a vain attempt to excite the 
effeminate poet Agathon to such an adventure, Euripides disguises 
his hrother-in-law, Mnesilochus, a man now advanced in years, in 
the garh of a woman, that in this shape he may plead his cause. 
The manner in which he does this, renders him suspected, it is dis- 
covered that he is a man ; he flees to an altar, and for greater security 
against their persecution, he snatches a child from the arms of a 
woman, and threatens to kill it, if they do not let him alone. As he 
is ahout to throttle it, it turns out to he only a wine-skin dressed up 
in child's clothes. Then comes Euripides under various forms to 
rescue his friend ; now he is Menelaus, who flnds his wife Helen in 
Egypt ; now Echo, helping the chained Andromache to complain ; 
now Perseus, ahout to release her from her honds. At last, he frees 
Mnesilochus, who is fastened to a kind of pillory, hy disguising him- 
self as a procuress, and enticing away the officer, a simple harbarian, 
who is guarding him, by the charms of a flute-playing girl. These 
parodied scenes, composed almost in the very words of the tragedies, 
are inimitable. Everywhere, in this poet, the instant Euripides 
comes into play, we may lay our account with finding the cleverest 
and most cutting ridicule : as though the mind of Aristophanes pos- 
sessed quite a specific talent for decomposing the poetry of this tra- 
gedian into comedy." — Theatre of the Greeks, p. 360. 



Mnesilochus and Euripides. 

Mne. O Jove, and will the swallow e'er appear ? * 

The man [jpointing to Eur.] 'U ruin me, from early mom 

Thus dragging me about. May I, or e'er 

My spleen is shaken out, enquire 

Whither thou lead'st me, O Euripides ? 
Euk. But 'tis not right that thou should'st hear whate'er 

With thy own eyes thou'lt presently behold. 
Mne. How say'st thou? speak again — Must I not hear? 
Eur. No — not at least that which thou must behold. 
Mne. What's thy advice to me? — well said in truth — 10 

Thou say'st that I need neither hear nor see — 
Eur. True — for be sure the nature is distinct. 

Of hearing not, nor seeing. 
Mne. How distinct? 

Eur. Thus have these been distinguish'd of old time ^ 

For soon as aether took a separate form, 

* This no doubt, as Wellauer obseives, is the correct translation of the despond- 
ing Mnesilochus' querulous demand of the return of spring indicated by its herald 
the swallow. " Mnesilocho enim aptius est interrogare num quando 7 quam quando 7 ** 

^ This high-sounding description of the senses of hearing and seeing, which savours 
more of the buskin than the sock, and is altogether in character with the 0tX^(ro0o£ 
dirb (TKriviic, as Euripides was commonly denominated, appears evidently to be 
parodied from the Melanippe of that tragedian (Frag, xxii.), 

^Trei ^ ^xft>pt<r0ij<rav dWriXdtv Bixa' 

who, as a disciple of the Socratic school, regarded aether in the light of a principal 
deity (compare the Frogs, v. 890.), 

aiOrjp, kfibv (56(TKrifJLa, 

236 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act i. Sc. r. 

And in itself bore moving animals. 

She fabricated first, the visual eye, 

In imitation of the solar wheel. 

And perforated ears as hearing funnels ^. 
Mne. Is it then owing to the funnel that 20 

I neither hear nor see ? By Jupiter, 

I am delighted to have leam*d so much. 

How excellent are wise communications ! 
Eur. Many such matters may*st thou learn of me. 
Mne. O, that besides these good discoveries, 

I might find out not to be lame of foot. 
Eur. Come hither, and apply thy mind, 
Mne. Behold ! 

Eur. See'st thou this door? 

Mne. By Hercules, I think so* 

Eur. Be silent now. 

Mne. Silence the portal ? 

Eur. Listen! 

Mne. What, shall I Usten to a silent door ? SO 

Eur. Here Agathon, th' illustrious tragic poet. 

Chances to dwell. 
Mne. What is this Agathon? 

Eur. He is an Agathon — 

Mne. That stout black man? 

Eur. No, but another — haye you never seen him ? 
Mne. That man with a broad beard ? 

Eur. Have you ne'er seen him ? 

Mne. Not I, by Jove; at least not to my knowledge. 
Eur. And yet thou hast been quite familiar with him. 

But know'st him not perchance. — Retire we hence^ 

Since one of his domestics issues forth; 

With fire and myrtle branches — he appears 40 

About to offer up a sacrifix^e 

For the result of his poetic labours. 
Val. Let all the people in well-omen'd silence 

* dKorjc Sk xoavrjv tara SiareTprivaro, I have here adopted the reading pro- 
posed by Wellauer instead of the common cLKorjv 5k x^^^VQ* which corrupt trans- 
position, as that critic observe.>, doubtless arose from the confusion of the similar 
lerminations tjc and riv. 


Keep their mouth close; for now the muses' choir 
Dwell in my master's house, and frame their lay. 
And let the breathless air restrain its blasts — 
No sound disturb the sea's caerulean wave. 

Mne. Hey day ! 

Eur. Be silent. 

Val. Who is he that speaks**? 

Let all the tribes of birds be hush'd in sleep ; 
Nor feet of savage beasts that roam the woods 50 

Resolve themselves in motion. 

Mne. Marvelloui3 ! 

Val. For the fair-spoken Agathon, our chief, 
Intends — 

Mne. Some act of baseness. 

Val. Who hath spoken ? 

Mne. iEther without a blast — 

Val. Upon the stocks 

To found an edifice dramatical "*. 
Of words he meditates inflexions new 
Polishes some, and others binds together — 
Coins sentences, with alter'd names, and moulds 
Like ductile wax, then pours them thro' a funnel. 

Mne. Yes, and commits adultery beside. 60 

Val. What rustic to our battlemented walls 

^ I have here followed Reiske, who gives this question to the valet, and reads 
Wc Xsyec, instead of the common ri Xsytic ; Invernizius agrees with Brunck in 
giving the words to Euripides, which seems decidedly wrong. 

® SpvoxovQ TiOevai, dpdfjtarog Apx^s* This and the five succeeding lines of the 
description which the valet gives of his master's poetical occupations, abounds in 
words chosen with felicity, quite germane to the matter, and illustrative of the love of 
antithesis and other peculiarities in the style of Agathon. The verb ropvevsi, in v. 
54, appears to confirm the much disputed reading in Horace (ed. Pis. 441.), adopted 
by Talbot and Doering — '* Et maid tomatos ineudi reddere versus *' — ^which is 
further confirmed by an epigram quoted by the Scholiast to the Knights, (v. 753.) 

KaWifidx^v ^^ Topevrbv cttoc rSde* 
The first line of this speech is a metaphor taken from naval afiairs ; the dpioxot 
denote erect beams of oak oc. other wood, sustaining the keel of the vessel upon 
which the shipwrights are at work — TrarraXoc U Spvbc, o ktrriv a7r\&c 4^Xov— 
(Eustathius). The French translator renders the words very idiomatically — 
" D6ja ses vers commencent a prendre une nouvelle toumure, il polit ceux-ci, il 
lie ceux-la j il ne nomme rien par son nom." 

238 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act i. Sc. i. 

Approaches ? 
Mne. One who is prepar'd to pour. 

As thro' a funnel^ from thy battlements^ 

Destruction down. 
Val. Surely thou wert, old man, 

A roister in thy youth. 
Eur. O friend, let this man 

Depart, and call me hither Agathon 

With all despatch. 
Val. - Make no entreaties, since 

Himself will come out soon ; for he begins 

To frame the melody — while winter lasts, 

To mould the strophes is no easy toil ; 70 

Unless he court the sunbeam at the door. [^Exit. 

Mne. What shall I do then ? 
Eur. Stay, for he comes forth*'. 

Jove, what wilt thou do with me to-day ? 
Mne. I, by the gods, would learn what ails the man : 

Why groan*st thou, and art so disquieted ? 
Thou should'st not hide it, being my relation. 

Eur. There's a great evil ready kneaded for me. 

Mne. What's that ? 

Eur. On this day it will be decided 

Whether Euripides shall live or die. 

Mne. But why, since now the courts no longer judge, 80 
Nor is there any council-seat, for this 
Is the third day and midst of Ceres' feasts ! 

Eur. This also I expect to be my ruin ; 

For plots against me have the women laid — 
And in the Thesmophorian feasts this day 
They are about to counsel my destruction. 

Mne. And for what cause ? 

Eur. Because in tragedies 

1 speak amiss of them. 

Mne. B.y Jove and Neptune, 

' Throughout this scene there is a great confusion of persons. For the right 
disposition of them, we are indebted chiefly to the critical sagacity of Bentley and 


Your suffering would be just. But what expedient 

Hast thou to extricate thee from these evils ? 90 

Eur. The hope that Agathon may be persuaded 

To mingle in the Thesmophoria. 
Mne. And for what purpose should he do so? say! 
Eur. To speak in the assembly of the women 

In my behalf, if need be. 
Mne. Secretly, 

Or in an open manner ? 
Eur. Secretly, 

Robed in a female stole ^. 
Mne. a pleasant deed. 

And one that greatly suits thy character. 

Truly to us belongs the victor's cake**. 
Eur. Silence! 

Mne. But wherefore ? 

Eur. Agathon comes forth. 100 

Mne. And which is he ? 

Eur. The man who's just develop'd *. 

Mne. Nay, surely I am blind, for I see not 

Any man here, but only view Cyrene. 
Eur. Be silent — ^he prepares the melody. 

V \d9pq,, ffToXi^v yvvaucoQ ijfKputriABvov* So Dryden, Palamon and Arcite, 

*' The solemn feast of Ceres now was near. 
When long white linen stoles the matrons wear.'* 

^ The word irvpafjiovc, in this line, is taken for the palm of victory, but properly 
denotes a cake made of wheat mingled with honey, and given to him who kept 
watch during the longest time. This line, as Bergler observes, may very properly 
be given to Mnesilochus, not as a boasting confession of his own skill and cunning, 
but in order to show that he favours the party and designs of Euripides. (See the 
Wasps, V. 277.) 

* ovKKVK\ovfAevog» That is, revealed to the sight of the spectators by the stage- 
machine called the ^yicvfcXt^/ia , described by Julius Pollux (iv. 128.), and by the 
Scholiast ad Acharn. 384., on which passage see the note. Bisetus and Bentley 
here read ovyKVKXovfievog, signifying a man robed in an encyclum, a kind of 
female garment, mentioned by Aristophanes in several other passages of this 
comedy, as well as in the Lysistrata and Ecclesiazusa, in which dress Agathon is 
shortly after introduced by our poet. But, as Brunck observes, the common reading 
is not rashly to be departed from, kynvKXeiffOai literally signifies sublimetn in machind 
inferri. ' In fabula& repraesentatione sic ostendebatur Agatho ; eodemque modo in 
Acharnensibus Euripides.' 


Mne. What — drawls he out some tune like '^the ants' 
marches ^ ?" 

Enter Agathon, accompanied by his tragic chorus. 

AoA. Damsels, this sacred lamp receive, 

Which to th* infernal goddess* train 
Burns bright, and let your chorus weave 
In our free country's praise the strain. 
Cho. Say now, for which god is the pomp design' d ? 110 

The gods I honour with a faithful mind. 
AoA. Then take thine armour, muse, and throw 

A shaft aim'd from the golden bow 
To reach Apollo's high renown. 
Who reair'd on Simois' land the walled town. 
Cho. Hail, Phoebus, whose unrivall'd praise 

Is hymn'd in sacred and harmonious lays ! 
Aga. Sing Dian too, the nymph who takes delight 
To sport upon the woody mountain's height. 
Cho. I follow in the muses' throng, 1^ 

And celebrate with l3rric song 
Latona's blessed progeny. 
Diana, bound by no connubial tie. 
Aga. And let Latona's self inspire 

The pulses of the Asian lyre*, 

^ fjtvpfjtriKOQ &Tpairo\iQ ^ ri diafiivvptrai ; According to the Scholiast, this is a 
proverbial metaphor applied to minute and slender subjects, and here used to de- 
note the drawling style of Agathon ; wc Xemrd Kal dyiniKa dvcuepovofikvov fuKij, 
So our poet says of Socrates (Clouds, v. 832.), 6c oZ^e rd i//vXXa>v 7x^9* So 

Plautus (Men. vv. 3. 6.), 

Mowe formicinum gradum. 

There is something of this character in the melody which follows, sung by Agathon 

accompanied by his tragic chorus, whom he instructs to exhibit their ode (which is 

not to be confounded with the regular chorus of the play) before the people at the 

approaching games. 

* Kpoifiard r 'Aaiddog, Some interpreters suppose ydg to be understood here, 

as if the poet were speaking of the pulsations of the earth by the feet of the dancers 

(compare Horace, Od. iv. 1. 28.), 

pede candido 

In morem Sali^m ter quatient humum. 
Id. (ad Pis. 168.) 

pede certo 

signat humum, etc. 
But they are probably mistaken in this opinion, since, according to several ancient 


With strains of Phrygiiin grace, which feet 
Now dissonant and now reaponsive greet, 
Cho, And 1 my tows to queen Latona pay ; 

I the harp, parent of the sacred lay. 

With clear male voice proclaim ; 130 

Whence to the heavenly ruler's eyes 
As from our sudden harmonics. 
Rushes the lightning flame. 
Let Phoebus' praise then in your hymns prevail — 
Latona's blessed offspring, hail ! 
Mne. O venerable Genetyllides'" 

How sweet the lay ! — like kiss effeminate 
And wanton-tongu'd, how has the titillation 
Enter'd my inmost sense! — and tliee, O youth, 
Whoe'er thou art, I would interrogate 140 

In jEschylean phrase from the Lycurgia". 
Wliat's this half-woman's country? race? attire? 
What means all this confusion of her life 1 
What concord with the harp and saffron robe ? 
The lyre and woman's liead-gear ? — the oil-cruet 

grammatical aulhora, (Suidas, the Scholiast to Apollaaius Rhodius, and the com- 
piler of the Etyrnolagicum Magaam, who refers to tbis pasBBge of Aristophanes, 
nliich he aSrms to be a pa.rody of the Kieclheua of Enripides,) the word 'Aaii 
signifies a harp wilh ihres chords, beiog invented hy the Asiatic Lydians, in a town 
of that oame at the foot of mount Tmolus. So Ihe Scholiast, •AaiaSa Si t,)v 
tidapav kiyei. G. Surges, who has reduced this chorus into n regular aoti- 
strophic order, alters the line to Anru r' 'A?i^a£ if/iiBiia tpoti/iaTa- bj which 
reading the anlilhesii vapSpuBji fipv9ji,a •tfivjiaiv havci/iaTa ^npiriuu ii entirely 
lost. This is very clearly eipresaed by the French translator — " Ces airs de 
I'asiade dont 1e rhythme est tanl6t d' accord et tantdt ne Test pas avec la meiure." 
(Compare Euripides, Cyclops. 442. Auialoi ijiri^i' Kiflopac- 

" These in Ihe old mythology were cerlain divinities related to, or atlendantoni 
Venus. Gtaelrix or G(n*li(I/ii, (see Lucretius, i. 1 ; Hor. Car. Sic. 64. ed. Francis, 
whoso note may be consulted with advantage). The Scholiast says, fal)iiiiv ^ 
TivtruXXie irtpi r^t AfpoSiriiv ^anlv ^i wapa ti)v yivfTliriv 7r(Troi^iT9a( to 
SwD/ia. This confirms the common reading in Horace, instead of which Doering 
BuhsUlnles GenelaOs, but, as Francis observes, we cannot End any inlhor who uses 
ifae word in the seme which it hath in this place. 

" According to tho Scholiasli Aristophanes here speaks of the tetralogy of ^8- 
chylus named Avicoupyfci, which consisted of the three tragedies of the Edajii, 
Baiiaridrs, and Youthi, together with the satjric drama, called LycurguB ; and the 
question in the teit, Tro^airoc u yivi'ic according to the some authority, is taken 
from the Edimi, addrcEscd to the caplared Bacchus. 

VOL. 11, R 

242 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE, [Act i. Sc. i. 

And girdle tally not : then what connection 

Is there between a mirror and a sword® ? 

But what art thou, O youth ? of manly breeding ? 

And where's the shape? — the robe? — Laconian shoes p? 

Is he a woman ? where are then the breasts ? 150 

What say'st thou — silent? By thy melody 

I judge thee then, since thou wilt not declare it. 
Aga. Old man, old man, I hear the sound of envy ; 

But with solicitude am not affected. 

Now I the garment wear advisedly ; 

For it is meet that a dramatic poet 

Should frame his manners to his poesy ; 

And if a poet female dramas make, 

He must adapt his body to those manners. 
Mne. Composing Phaedra then, you mount on horseback. 
Aga. And should his subjects be of manly kind, 161 

There's something in the body correspondent. 

And that which we are not empower'd to gain. 

We strive to make our own by imitation^. 
Mne. And when thou writ*st satyric plays, call me. 

That I may stand behind to aid the work. 
Aga. Besides, it is ungrateful to behold 

A poet rough and rustic— Now consider- 
That Ibycus, Anacreon of Teos, 

Alcseus, too, who season'd harmony, 170 

A woman's headdress wore, and danc'd with step 

Ionian '^; Phrynicus (for thou hast heard 

^ Bergler asserts that there is an allusion in this line to Epichannus, quoted by 
Stobaeus (Serm Ixxxix.), rig yap KaroirTpt^ Kal rvfXf Kotvtavia ; 

p TTov x^oXva ', TTov AaKiovLKai ; These latter were a kind of Lacedsmonian 
sandals worn by men — dvdptia virodrifiaTa, (Schol.) See also the Scholiast on 
the Wasps, v. 1158« where this line of the Thesmophoriazusa is again quoted. 

4 These lines are parodied from the uEolus of Euripides (Fr. vi. ap Musgr.), in 
the last line of which we should evidently read with Bergler 0ripo)fAt9a, instead of 
the common TifiwfitOa answering to (TvvBTjpiveroi in this passage of Aristophanes. 
The following speech of Mnesilochus alludes to the satyric dramas which were 
always included in the tetralogies of the tragic poets, of whom Agathon was one. 
The Cyclops of Euripides is the only instance of this kind of drama which time has 
preserved to us. 

' ifiiTpoil>6povv re Kai SukX&vt* 'ItotnKCis. This is Toup's ingenious emen- 
dation of the common reading ^tKivovvr', (Compare Horace, Od. iii. vi. 22.) — 

150—200.] THE THESMOPHORIAZUS^. 243 

Of him) was fair himself and gaily cloth'd. 

Beauteous on this account his dramas were^ 

For all must suit their manners to their state. 
Mne. Then the base Philocles composes basely, 

The wicked Xenocles writes wickedly, 

And cold Theognis frigidly indites. 
Aga. 'Twas altogether necessary — this 

I knew, and cleans'd myself. 
Mne. How, by the gods ? 180 

Aga. Cease barking — for as soon as I began 

To poetize, that was my custom too. 
Mne. By Jove, I envy not your education. 
Eur. But suffer me to tell wherefore I came. 
Mne. Declare. 
Eur* 'Tis, Agathon, a wise man's part' 

To have the power of briefly saying much. 

But I, struck by a new calamity, 

Have come to thee a suppliant. 
Aga. In what need ? 

EuR. To day the women compass my destruction 

In Ceres' feasts, for speaking ill of them. 190 

Aga. And what assistance canst thou have from us ? 
Eur. The greatest — for if thou wilt secretly 

Among the women sit as one of them. 

And answer for me, thou wilt clearly save me ; 

Since thou alone canst speak in my behalf. 
Aga. But why, if present, speak not for thyself? 
Eur. I will inform thee — first, because I'm known. 

Then am I hoary-lock'd and have a beard. 

Thou personable, with fair well-razor'd face. 

And woman's voice, soft, comely to behold. 200 

Motus doceri gaudet lonicos 
Matura yirgo ffrangitur artubus 
Jam nunc, etc. 

(See Person's Tracts and Miscellaneous Criticisms, p. 187.) Inveroizius highly 

approves of Toup's reading, but gives Kq,^iKavoiavT • 

■ This and the following line are also parodied from the tragedy of iEolus, 

(Frag. V.) 

TTcdttQ, <TO(j>ov "irphQ &vSpbQ, 5(mff kv Ppax^t 

TToXXovff \6yovs oloQ re (Tvvrkfiveiv KoKCig, 



AoA. Euripides. 

Eur. What is't ? 

Aga. Thou erst indited'st — 

'' Art thou rejoic*d to see the light, and think*st* 

Thy father joys not to behold it too ?" 
Eur. I did. 
AoA. Now hope not that we shall endure 

The evil which is thine — we should be raad else. 

Then bear thyself thine own domestic lot ; 

For *tis not just by tricks to shuffle off. 

But to endure calamities. 
Mne. Yet thou 

Art most impure in sufferings, not in words. 
Eur. But to come thither why wast thou afraid ? glO 

Aga. I should have perish'd worse than you. 
Eur. How ? 

Aga. How ? 

Seeming to steal into the mighty deeds 

Of women, and in secret snatch away 

The Cyprian treasure. 
Mne. Snatch away, forsooth! 

Nay, to be ravish'd. — 'Tis, by Jupiter, 

A plausible pretext. 
Eur. What then ? wilt thou 

Do what I ask of thee? 
Aga. Believe it not. 

EuR. O thrice unhappy, Idst Euripides ! 
Mne. O dearest relative, lose not thyself. 
EuR. How shall I act then ? 
Mne. Let this man go weep, 220 

And use me in whatever way you please* 
EuR. Come then, since thou giv'st up thyself to me. 

Put off this garment. 
Mne. Lo, *tis on the ground. 

But what art thou about to do with me ? 

< This is a verse from the Alcestes of Euripides, spoken by Fheres, unwilling to 
suffer death for his daughter, (v. 705.) 


Eur. To shave thee here, and singe thy lower parts. 
Mne. Nay, do, if you think well. I never, else, 

Myself should have surrendered. 
Eur. ^ Agathon, 

Thou always carriest a razor with thee* 

Now grant to us the loan of one. 
Aga. Here, take it 

Out of the razor case. 
Eur. Thou'rt generous. 230 

Sit down — and pufFthy right cheek out. 
Mne. Ah me! 

Eur. Wherefore cry out so loud ? Til thrust a stake in. 

If thou'rt not silent. 
Mne. Out upon't, alas ! [running out, 

Eur. Ho, whither art thou running ? 
Mne. To the temple, 

Where dwell the venerable goddesses ". 

For Jiere, by Ceres, I will not remain 

Ta be thus mangled. 
Eur. Wilt thou, then, become 

A theme for laughter, with half-shaven crown ? 
Mne. 'Tis slight concern of mine. 
Eur. Nay, by the gods. 

Betray me not — come hither. 
Mne. Wretched me I 240 

Eur. Be quiet and raise up thy head again. 

In what direction turnest thou ? 
Mne. Mu, MuI 

Eur. Why mutterest thou? all things are well perform'd.^ 
Mne. Ah wretched me, light-arm'd then shall I fight \ 
Eur. Regard it not— rfor thou wilt seem quite comely. 

** Suppliants were accustomed to take refuge in the temple of the Eumenides or 
Furies, situated near the Areopagus. So in the Knights (t. 1308.) the chorus says 

KaOrjirdal fioi doKiXg 

dc Tb OijfftTov 7r\£ov<raQ riirl t&v fftfiviov Otdv, 

on which passage the Scholiast observes that the temple of Theseus, as well as that 
of the Furies, afforded an asylum for ill-treated domestics. 

^ In this line there is an ambiguity in the word \j^i\bg, which, like the Latin 
kvis, may denote efther smooth-shaven or light-armed ; levis armatura miles. 


Will you behold yourself? 
Mne. Bring, if you please, 

A mirror y. 
Eur. See'st thyself? 

Mne. Not I, by Jove, 

But Clisthenes. 
Eur. Rise up, that I may singe thee. 

And keep yourself inclined. 
Mne. Ill-fated me ! 

I shall become a little sucking pig. 250 

Eur. Some one within convey a torch or light. 

Stoop down — now, look to your extremities. 
Mne. I will, by Jove, regard them— but Tm burnt. 

Ah me unhappy ! — water, water, neighbours. 

Before I aid myself, and quench the flame. 
Eur. Take courage. 

Mne. What, while turning in the fire ? 

Eur. But thou hast nothing more to sufier now. 

For almost all thy labour is exhausted. 
Mne. Alas, the smoke ! — I am all burnt beneath. 
Eur. Regard it not, for some one soon will spunge you. 260 
Mne. In truth he will lament who washes me. 
Eur. Since, Agathon, you envy me the gift 

Of your own person, grant us, at the least, 

This robe and girdle : for you cannot say 

That these are not your own. 
Aga. Receive and use them : 

I grudge them not. 
MNEk What shall I take then ? 

Aga. What ? 

Receive and don this robe of saffron hue. 
Mne. By Venus, it exhales a sweet rank smell. 
Aga. Put it on quickly. 
Mne. Take the belt. 

Eur. 'Tis here. 

Mne. Come, now compose and ornament my legs. 270 

Eur. We want the cawl and turban. 

.' £1 SoKti, 0lp£* SCil. KOLTOTrrpOV, 


Aga. In this fashion, 

I dress my head at night. 
Eur. By Jupiter, 

*Tis altogether fit. 
Mne. Will it fit me? 

Aga. In truth, most excellently. 
Eur. Bring the mantle. 

Aga. Take that fipotn off the couch. 

Eur. We want the sandals. 

Aga. Here, take mine. 
Mne. Will they fit me ? 

Eur. Thou art pleas'd, then. 

To be loose shod. 
Aga. Assure yourself of this. 

Since thou hast all of which thou art in need ; 

Some one, without delay, conduct me in. [Exit, 

Eur. Truly this man appears to us in form 280 

A very woman ; if thou speakest then ', 

Let thy voice imitate, persuasively. 

The female tones. 
Mne. I will endeavour. 

Eur. Go then. 

Mne. Nay, by Apollo, riot at least unless 

You swear to me. 
Eur. What ? 

Mne. That you will preserve me, 

With all your means, should any ill betide. 
Eur. " I swear by aether, the abode of Jove *." 
Mne. Why, rather than that of Hippocrates ? 

* On this passage Seager remarks — " there should be no stop in this verse." 
" We have at length transformed this man into a woman." 

* ofivvpu Toivov ai9ep* oiKtimv Ai6q' see the Frogs, v, 100, where this high- 
sounding line is again quoted by the Scholiast, as kx MeXaviirirfig ^o^KXkovg, 
which we may, with Bergler conclude to be an error of the transcriber, for Ik 
MtXaviirirric 2o0^£* under which title Euripides wrote a drama, of which we 
have only twenty-eight short fragments remaining. Hippocrates, mentioned in the 
next line, was a constant theme for the ridicule of the comic poets of the time, 
especially Aristophanes and Eupolis, on account of the sordid and brutal disposi- 
tion of his three sons, TeUsippus, Demophon, and Pericles, See the Schol. on v. 
988. of the Clouds, where a verse of Eupolis, kv Arifioig, is quoted, in which the 
same character of these youths is given. 

218 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Eur. I swear, then, by the universal gods. 
Mne. Remember this now, that the mind hath sworn, 290 
But not the tongue ** — nor have I pledg'd an oath. 

-^ ^y of women is heard ^ the scene changes and a temple is 


Eur. Come quickly out — for there is evidence 

Of meeting in the Thesmophoria. 

But I depart. 
Mne. Now, Thratta, follow hither. 

O Thratta, see how high the smoke ascends 

From the burnt torches ! But, O Thesmophorians, 

Of charms excelling, with fair auspices 

Receive me here, and prosper my return. 

O Thratta, place the chest down, then take out 

A broad round cake, that I may offer it 300 

As an oblation to the goddesses. 

Ceres, thou dear and ever-honour'd mistress. 

And Proserpine, grant me to offer still 

Full many a sacrifice, or, if not so. 

Let me at least be undiscovered now. 

And may some rich man gain my daughter's love ; 

Some blockhead, with a mind intent on pelf ^^ 

Where, where can I sit in a proper place 

To hear the rhetoricians ? As for thee. 

Retire, O Thratta, since 'tis not allow'd 310 

That slaves should hear the speeches, 

(> Alluding to the well-known casuistical line of Euripides (Hippol. 607.), if 
y\Si(T(T 6fiit)fiox$ V ^^ tftprjv avdjftoTog* which is alluded to by our author in the 
Frogs, and elsewhere. The stage direction after this speech is Upbv wOeirat, sig- 
nifying that the aspect of the scene is changed by the help of machines to the 
appearance of a temple. Reiske's interpretation of Upbv (victima), and Bergler's 
proposed change of the word to ykpbjv, are, as Bninck contends, equally absurd. 

^ This is the interpretation of the French translator, ** Un sot, un ridicule, et qui. 
ne pensera qu' a son argent." 



Female Herald, Chorus of Women, Mnesilochus, 

seven Uaranguers. 

F. H. Silence, silence'' 

1. Pray to the Tliesmopliorian goddesses, 
To Ceres, and the damsel Proserpine, 
To Pluto, and the goddess fairly born. 
And Earth, the nourisher of youth ', and Hermes ; 
The Graces, too, I supplicate, to grant 
The fairest and most excellent success. 
Which may this synod and assembly tend. 
And henefit our Athens with ourselves. 
Pray ye, moreover, that success may crown S2i 

Her who most profitably acts and speaks 
For tlie Athenian people and your own'. 
Be these the objects of your supphcation. 
Let us rejoice, and thrice shout lo Psean! 

Cho. Our vows agree with yours, and wc entreat 
The heavenly race to crown our orisons 
With their auspicious presence. Jupiter, 
Of mighty name, thou of the golden tyre, 
Whose sway extends o'er Delos' sacred isle. 
And thou all-potent maid with azure eyes, 330 

And spear of gold, inhabiting a city 

' This proclamalion of the female herald (c^piKaiva) containing formula of 
prayers observed ia the assemblies of tfae people is, sa G. liurges observes, free 
from the laws of chythm. 

Pholius, ia his Leiicon, saya, that Apollodotus gave the name saWiyimia lo llie 
earth — some called ber the daughter of Jupiler aod Ceres — but that Aristophanes, 
the comic writer, gives this name to a musG. Callimachus, in his hyma to Delos 
(vv. 2, and 276.). names that island ' A^noXKiavoq sovpaTpafav. Spanheim. in hlii 
learned commentarj on tbat passage, quotes Clnudian and -Stalius, applying the 
words ^luniniii and A'ulri-i to the island. 

' In this passage Hotibina considers the nords rqv r' ayopiliovirav as a mere 
gloss, and as such lo ha eipuoged frnm the test; and I cannot but think that most 
readers will concur in this opinion. 





In warlike might excelling^ hither come. 
Thou, too, of various names, beast-slaying nymph. 
The golden-eyed Latona's progeny. 
Thou, too, O venerable Neptune, lord 
Of ocean, leave the fishy depths of Nereus, 
By whirlwinds toss'd, sea-nymphs, and ye whose feet 
Upon the mountains wander — to our prayers 
Symphonius may the golden lyre resound. 
While we Athenian women, nobly born, 340 ^ 

With perfect rites the solemn congress hold. 
Her. Pray to th' Olympian gods and goddesses, 
The deities of Pytho and of Delos, 
With all the others ; that if any one 
Counsel aught ill against the female race. 
Or by a herald, to the women's cost. 
Make with the Persians and Euripides 
A league of amity *, or meditate 
To tyrannize, or bring the tyrant back ; 
Or any slanderer should denounce a wotnan 350 

As rearing a supposititious child. 
Or if th' intriguing slave of any female 
Hath whisper'd slanderous stories to her lord ; 
Or should a servant, sent on messages. 
Report them falsely, or if some lewd fellow 
Cheat with fallacious promise, and not give 
The stipulated fee, or some old woman 
Bring gifts to her gallant, some courtezan 
Take bribes, betraying her companion's friend ; 
And if some male or female publican 360 

Should falsify the gallon or pint measure**; 
On such an one, with all his family, 

n » 

« ij iriKTipvKiveTai 

EvpiTTidy Mridoig r 

With the Medes or Persians our poet here mingles those subjects of which mention 
was wont to be made in serious supplications to the gods. (See Isocrates in his 
Panegyric.) Bergler. 

b On this line the Scholiast observes that the %ovf contained two x^t<B, and the 
XO€vc six. The Korvkoq or KorvXt) was a cup or measure, holding three-fourths of 
a pint, (see St, Mark, vii. 4.) 7rorTjpi(t)v Kai ^etTTwv* 


Invoke a dreadful death, but to yourselves, 
Pray that the gods may give abundant blessings. 


We offer our united prayer, 

That blessings, perfect in their kind, 
The city with her sons may share. 
And let the fairest portion reach 
Those women whose persuasive speech 

Subdues the willing mind. 370 

But they, who frame the gainful lie, 
And lawless noxious perjury. 
Or seek to change, with headlong force. 
Decrees and law's established course. 
With fraudulent intent disclose 
Each secret counsel to our foes, 
Or introduce the Persian band 
For the destruction of our land, 
Their deeds with impious boldness crown 
To the dishonour of the town. 380 

But oh ! these prayers, almighty Jove, 
Deign with thy sanction to approve ; 
And let thy female suppliants share 
The deitiesVpresiding care. 
Her. Hear all — this woman's council have decreed-^ 
President Timoclea, clerk Lysilla, 
While Sostrata delivered the opinion *. 
" To-morrow an assembly will be held. 
The middle of the Thesmophorian feasts. 
On which we have most leisure ^ ; our first business 

* This, as Kuster observes, was the ordinary formula or accustomed introduction 
to the plebiscita or public decrees of the Athenian people. He quotes an example 
from Thucydides (iv. 118.), which I think Bloomfield justly considers to be pa- 
rodied by our poet, 'AKafiavrig kirpiyrdvtve, ^a'lvnnroQ lypafAftdrsvffe, 'SiKtddrig 
kTTiffrdrei' which however that great scholar cites erroneously thus, (f^aiviirTrog 
lypafifidTtvffs, "SiKddijg liretTTdrei, Aa^jyc tlire. The application of this introduc- 
tory formula to the three female legislators in this passage is extrettiely humorous. 

^ The third day of this solemn assembly was consecrated by a fast, and called 
VTjffTiia, as Brunck and Person have observed from Athensus in his seventh book. 
The former learned critic has happily emended the second of these lines, which in 

252 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act if. Sc. i. 

Is to debate on what Euripides 391 

Should sufTer, for he seems to all of us 
To act unjustly" — who's inclin'd to speak ? 

WoM. L 

Her. Put this crown on now, ere you begin K 
Silence, attention — for as if about 
To talk at length, she now begins to cough. 
As do the orators. 

W. 1. From no ambition, 

By the two goddesses I swear, O women. 

Have I risen up to speak — but this long time. 

Wretch that I am, scarce can I bear to see you, 400 

Thus by the female potherb-seller's son, 

Euripides, daub'd o'er with calumny, 

And hearing all kinds of opprobrious words. 

For with what evils has he not besmear'd us ? 

What opportunity of slander miss'd. 

How small soe'er the number of spectators. 

The tragic and the choral actors few ; 

Dissemblers and men-hunters calling us. 

Wine-bibbing, treacherous gossips, good for nought °", 

A mighty plague to men — so entering home, 410 

Straight from the boarded theatre, they look 

With a considerate gaze at us, to know 

Lest some loose fellow be conceal'd within. 

But we no longer had the power to act . 

As heretofore — so many evil notions 

the Junta and old editions stood thus, fiv liXitrff tiyXv trxoXfi, and in that of Kuster, 
riv &\ie ^(tQ^ "hlT^v cxoX^* implying a doubt which the herald could by no means 
be supposed to entertain : instead of this corrupt reading, Brunck has restored from 
a manuscript ^ fioXitrff riyiiv ffx^^Vy ^^^ ^^ inprimis otto ahundamus, i. e. on the 
third day of the feast. 

* irepiOov vvv rovds' i. e. (TTk<j>avov ; according to the custom of ancient orators 
in the assembly rSvde is said SeiKTucdg. 

" rdg fivxorpo'irovgf rdg dvSpspaffTpiag koXiov, 
rdg oivo'TroTiSag* 

Suidas (adverb, olvoTriTrag) reads fioixoTpoirovg, adulterinis moribus pneditas, 
which was in all probability the word used by Aristophanes — v and oi are fre- 
quently confounded in manuscripts, as in v. 501, where instead of Tbv /i0ix6v, 
a MS. has tov fivxov. 



They taught our husbands — thus, should any woman 

A chaplet weave, he thinks that she's in love ; 

And should a woman, wandering through the house, 

Drop any utensil, the husband asks, 

" For whom was this dish broken ? It must be 420 

For the Corinthian guest °." Is any maid 

Labouring with sickness, straight her brother says — 

" This colour of the damsel's hkes me not." 

Moreover, should a woman, lacking cbildrenj 

Desire to have supposititious offspring. 

This cannot be conceal' d — for men sit near. 

Besides, to th' aged be calumniates us, 

Who heretofore were wont to marry girla ; 

So that none now desires a woman-bride, 

This dictum intervening^ — "for a woman 430 

Is to an ancient bridegi'oom a she-tyrant "." 

Then 'tis through him that they place seals and bars 

Upon the women's chamber doors to guard us, 

And breed Molossian dogs, the gallants' terror. 

All this might be forgiven — but what ere now 

Belong'd to our administrative province. 

Out of the store to take flour, oil, and wine, 

This is no longer ours : for now the men 

Themselves bear secret oiost ill-natur'd keys. 

Made in Laconian fashion, with three wards p. 440 

" These lioes coDlaiu a satirical alluBion to the Stbesobtea of Euiipides, nbo 
loved the Corinthian Belletophon, (Fragment iv. ap. Musgr.) 

" Aristophanes here alludes in his salirical maaner to the Phixnii of Euripides 
(Flag, iv.) as emended by Musgrave: 

EkoTIOlva yap jipovTi vVfi^itfi yvvij. 
see also Frag. v. The mention of seals !□ the nest line eiiows with what jealouB 
care the gynxeonitis, or woniens' apartments, placed in the interior part o[ the 
Athenian houses, was guarded by the ancients. Ber^ler with great probability 
imagines that our poet here glances at the Andromache of Euripides (v, 942.) 

K:\fi9poiBi Kai iiox^oTiTi Bui/iarav iruXoj. 
<■ XanaivW arm, rpiXg fx''vra: yop^iovc. Lacedsnioniaa keys are also men- 
tioned by Plautuf (MosteL ii, 1. 57.) They appear to have opened outwards, and 
aie also mentioned by Meaander, (iv Mio'oufui'v). and Manilias in his aitcono- 

254 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

Of old it had been possible for us 

With a seal ring that cost three oboli^ 

At least to keep the door a little open. 

But now this home-born slave, Euripides, 

Hath taught them how to bear worm-eaten seals 

Suspended ^ — ^now then it seems right to me 

To hatch up for this man a deadly mischief. 

Either by poison or some artifice, 

That he may perish — this I plainly say — 

The rest I with the clerk will register '. 450 

Cho. I never yet heard a more subtle woman. 

Nor one who speaks with weightier eloquence ; 
For all she says is just — she hath searched out 
All forms, and ponder'd all things in her mind. 
And prudently discovered various reasons, 
Excogitated well — so that I think, 
Should Xenocles the son of Carcinus 
Speak near her', he would seem to all of you 
To say nought to the purpose. 

W. 2. For the sake 

Of saying a few words I too have come. 460 

She hath well brought the other accusations. 

But my own sufferings I would fain declare. 

My father died in Cyprus, having left 

Five little children, whom with pains I nurtured 

By weaving chaplets in the myrtle forum*. 

mical poem (lib. i.) On the following declaration of fraud perpetrated by means 
of a seal ring, Brunck supposes an allusion to a drama of Euripides not now 

4 kSiSa^e OpiTTfi^tffT ixuv (Tiftpayidia, It appears from Hesychius and Photius, 
as well as the Scholiast, that the ancients made vse of worm-eaten pieces of wood 
instead of seals, and the former of these lexicographers asserts that Hercules was 
the first who adopted this practice. 

' fierd Trjg ypafifjiaTsu)g crvyy pd\ On this line Brunck observes — Comi- 
cum hoc est et facetum. Sic alibi, in serio, immo tragico sermone, substantiva 
masculina foeminis tribuuntur. Helena, in cognomine Eurip. dramate 288, 

firjTTfp d' oX(i>Xc, jcat ipovtvg avrijg lya». 

* According to the Scholiast, Xenocles is here mentioned on account of the skill 
with which he painted in his dramas a variety of female wiles and stratagems. 
' Iv raig rag fivf>pivaig. This substantive, like x^'^P^^ ^^^ Xdxavai in the 


450—490.] THE THESMOPHORIAZUS^. 255 

So long, but hardly, I sustain'd myself. 

And now this poet in his tragedies 

Would fain persuade men that there are no gods ", 

So that we traffic not so much by half. 

Now therefore I exhort and charge you all 470 

For many reasons to chastise this manj 

Since he treats us, O woman, savagely. 

Like one whose nurture is deriv'd from potherbs. 

But to the forum I must go, and weave, 

By certain men bespoken, twenty chaplets ". [Exit. 

Cho. This other manifests a. turn of mind 

More ornamented than the former was, 

Uttering her maxims not unseasonable, 

Poasess'd of thoughts and genius versatile. 

Not such as are incomprehensible, 480 

But all persuasive : for this violence 

The man should clearly give us retribution. 

Mne. It is no cause for wonder, O ye women. 
That having heard these evil accusations, 
Your rage should greatly rise, your bile o'erflow ; 
For I myself, so may my children prosper, 
While in my right mind shall detest this man. 
Yet to each other must we give our reasons, 
For we are by ourselves, nor will our words 
Be carried out. Why should we thus accuse him, 490 
And think it hard if, conscious to our faults. 
Two or three peccadilloes he declare. 
When guilty of ten thousand we have been ? 
For not to speak of others, I myself 
Am conscious of full many a dire offence ; 

LTsiatiata, (t, 667.), denatei tfaa rorDin or maiket in which such commodities 
were sold, and not the coiDDiDdities ihemselveB. 

° la Ihis line, Hi^cuaing Euripides of direct impiety, Aristophaaes teemi Id 
gliDCe at the BellerophoD of Euripides, (Frag, xix. xxv.), Bad Sisyphus, (Fr. ii.) 
It may be imagioed that ia Ihese and similar passages he inteaded lo aim a sly 
blow at Socrates, making Euripides the stalking- horse behind nhleh to direct his 

' UTi^avovg mvBiJiiaTialoiis. This adjective, which bears an archaic oha- 
racter, is qnolcd by Athensu* and J. Pollux, from this passage of Aristophanes. 
The Schaliait gays, oOc V<>£ avvaioriKoiig Xiyufiiv. 

256 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act ii. Sa i. 

But the most heinous^ when a three days* bride. 

And near me slept my husband — but I had 

A lover who when seven years old seduc'd me. 

He at the door came scratching for my love, 

I knew the signal, and descended straight ? 500 

My husband asks me, '^ Whither go*st thou down." 

** Whither ! a griping pain, O friend, torments me ; 

I therefore must to the lay-stall." ** Go now." 

Then rubb'd he cedar-kernels, dill and sage. 

And I, with water sprinkled o*er the hinge. 

Went out to my gallant — ♦ * 

• • « • « 

These crimes, you see. ne'er hath Euripides 

Reproach'd us with ; nor tells he how, by slaves 

And muleteers, if there be none beside, 510 

We are subdu'd ; nor having spent the night 

With any lover, how at dawn we chew 

Garlick, lest straight returning from the watch. 

Our husband should suspect us of some harm. 

These things, you see, he nowhere has related ; 

And what is it to us, if he rate Phaedra ?- 

He never told how, showing to her husband 

A robe that glittered in the solar beam. 

She sent away th' adulterer wrapt therein. 

I knew another woman, who declared 520 

That for ten days she suffer'd throes of labour. 

Until she bought a child : meanwhile her husband 

Went all about the town to purchase drugs 

That might procure a quick deliverance ; 

While the old woman in an earthen jar 

Convey'd the child, his mouth stopped up with honey. 

Lest he should cry ; then soon as she who brought it 

Nodded, she presently exclaims " Depart, 

Depart, my husband, for I think myself 

About to be delivered :" then the child 530 

Struck with his heel the bottom of the jar. 

At this he ran rejoicing — while she drew 

From the child's mouth the stoppage, who cried out. 

Then the detestable old hag who bore him, 



Runs smiling to the husband, and exclaims, 
" A lion has been born to you, a lion, 
Your very model" * • • * « 

Practise we not these crimes? Yes, by Diana, 

And are we angry with Euripides, 540 

Who suffer nothing more than we have done? 

Cho. In truth 'tis wondrous whence hath been found out 
This thing — what land so bold a woman nurtur'd. 
For I could not have thought that any female 
Should dare to utter in this shameless manner 
Among us openly such things as these. 
But all may now be done — I praise the wisdom 
Of that old proverb — " Under every Btone 
'Tia right to peep, lest in some secret corner 
Ready to bite you, lurk an orator''." 550 

But there is nothing more deprav'd than women 
Who have cast off all native modesty. 

W. 3. Nay, by Aglauros ', you are not, O women. 

In your right minds ; but either you're enchanted. 

Or have endur'd some other mighty evil. 

Suffering this plague thus to revile us all. 

If there be any one then — and if not, 

Ourselves and servants, seizing some chance ashes. 

Will pluck her hair off", that she may be taught 

Not to speak evil of her sex hereafter, 560 

Mne. Denude me not, O women, of my hair ; 
For if, when there is freedom of debate, 
And/emale citizens have power to speak, 
I said in favour of Euripides 

Whate'er my knowledge prompted to be just, ' 

Is't for this cause that from your hands I must 

J Thia is an allusion lo iq old proseibial scolion, inserted by Btunck in hi' 
Gdilian of AnacreoQ. Tbe chorus add to the comic humour of the passage b; 
using the word pitTup instead of ffjcop^iD^. 

■ She was one of the daughters of Cecrops, by whom, as well as by her sister 
Pandrosus, the Athenian women were accustomed to make their adjurations. Tha 
name of the latter is sometimes given lo Minerva, and the former ia often con- 
founded with Agraole, ihe wife of Cecropa. Their third daughter was named 
Hersa. (See Ovid. Met. ii. 7T7.) 

VOL. II, s 

258 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

With hair pluck*d off now suffer punishment? 
W. 3. And should^st thou not be punish'd, who alone 

Hast dar*d to speak in favour of a man 

Who hath committed many wrongs against us, 570 

Discovering, of set purpose, arguments 

From wicked women, Melanippe, Phaedra*; 

But a Penelope he never drew, 

Because she seem'd to be a modest woman* 
Mne. And well I know the cause, for you would say. 

Of present women, that there might be one 

Penelope, but a whole race of Phaedras. 
W. 3. Hear ye, O women, what this crafty dame 

Again hath spoken of us all ? 
Mne. And yet. 

By Jupiter, I've not said what I know. 580 

Will you that I tell more ? 
W* 3. Nay, that thou canst not. 

For thou hast pour'd out what thou know'st already. 
Mne. By Jupiter, not the ten-thousandth part 

Of what we do — for he has not, you see, 

Declar'd how, taking golden leaves for tubes. 

We draw the wine as through a siphon out\ 
W. 3. A plague upon you ! 
Mne. And when we have given 

From the Apaturia meat to our gallants ^, 

* See the Frogs, ▼. 1040« where ^schylus brings the same accusation against 

AXX! oi) fid, A«', oif ^aitpiaq Iwoiow, irSpvag, 

ohdk ^Otvopoiag. 

^ — — wc ffrXtyyiSag Xc^wrtu 
iwetra ffufnavil^ofitv rbv olvov. 

This passage has greatly embarrassed the commentators, chiefly on account of the 
ambiguous signification of the word ffrXeyyig, which denotes either a currycomb 
or a spangle in the shape of a gold leaf, which the women were accused of forming 
into a tube for the purpose of drawing out the wine from their husbands' casks, as 
through a reed. (See Brunck's note.) Another source of error was the old reading 
ffirov instead of olvov. Invernizius remarks on this line rbv eiTOVf ' Ubri omnes, 
manifesto errore !' 

« The first day of the Apaturian feast was called dopwia, because suppers 
(^SSpiroi) were given to each separate tribe. This festival was celebrated in the 
month Pyanepsion, answering to our October. 


We then say 'tis the cat. 
W. 3. Ah wretched me, 

Thou triflest ! 
Mne. Nor have I said how a woman 5! 

Her husband with an axe Btruck down"*, nor how 

Another drove her husband mad with phihres, 

Nor how she once o'erwhelm'd him in a bath. 
W. 3. A plague confound you ! 
Mne. How th' Acharnian maid 

Her father* — 
W. 3. Can we bear to hear all this? 
Mne. Nor as thou who, when thy slave bore a male, 

Broughtest it up for thine own self, and gav'at 

To her thy little daughter in its room. 
W, 3. Nay, by the goddesses, you shall not speak 6( 

Thus with impunity. But I will pluck 

Thy fleecy locks out. 
Mne. Nay, by Jove, thou ne'er 

Shalt touch me. 
W.3. Well, then, see. 

Mne. And see again. 

W. 3. Philista, take my robe. 
Mne. Place but a finger. 

And, by Diana, thee I will — 
W.3. Do what? 

Mne. This cake of sesame which thou devouredst 

I'll make thee void. 
Cho, Cease your upbraidings, for 

A certain woman runs to us in haste : 

Then, ere she come up with us, keep ye silence. 

That we may hear in order what she says. 
Clis. Dear women, kin to me in disposition, Gl 

My cheeks show clearly that I'm dear to you, 

For I'm posaess'd with a mad love of women, 

* Horace lesmB to have bad Lhis passage ic 

■' at hm 

DLvUIt medium fortisiinia TyDdariBrum." 
» Acharn» was a large village of Altlca, described by Thucydidea, (b. : 
who calli it xupDV /liyurrov, oa which passage 


3 J 


260 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

And always your defender — having now 

Heard an important thing respecting you, 

Canvass'd at market a short time ago, 

I come to give you this intelligence. 

That ye may watch and guard against it, lest 

Some dire and great calamity should fall 

On you, unguarded as ye are. 
Cho. O boy, 

What means this? For a boy 'tis fit to call you, 6S0 

As long as you bear cheeks unrazor*d thus* 
Clis. *Tis said Euripides has hither sent 

One of his aged relatives to-day* 
Cho. What object to attain? with what design? 
Clis. That what you plan and are about to do. 

This man may be a spy of your discourse. 
Cho. And how with women could his manly sex 

Pass unobserved ? 
Clis. Euripides sing'd off 

And rooted out his hair — arraying him 

In all particulars beside like women. 630 

Mne. Trust ye to him in this ? What man so foolish. 

As to permit his hair to be plucVd out ? 

None, as I think, much-honour'd deities. 
Clis. Thou triflest — for I ne'er had come to tell this. 

But that I heard it from those well inform'd. 
Cho. a dreadful deed this which is now related ; 

But, O ye women, 'tis not right to loiter: 

We must endeavour to seek out the man, ; 

Who in his private seat eludes our search. 

Thou, too, assist us in discovering him, 640 

That thou may'st have our double thanks, O friend. 
Clis. Come, let me see — who art thou there the first ? 
Mne. Where shall one turn ? 

Clis. You are to be search'd out. 

Mne. Ill-fated me ! — 

W. 4. Ask ye me who I am ? 

Clis. Yes. 

W. 4. I'm the consort of Cleonymus. 

Clis. [to the Chorus.] Know you this woman ? 


620—660.] THE THESMOPHORIAZUS^. 261 

Cho. Well indeed we know her. 

Now view the others. 
Clis, Who is this, that holds 

The infant ? 
W. 4. She's my nurse, by Jupiter. 

Mne. I'm utterly undone ! 
Clis. Whither art turning ? 

Remain here. — What's the matter? 
Mne. Suffer me 650 

To ease myself. 
Clis. Thou art a shameless jade. 

Begone and do't, while I continue here. 
Cho. Remain then, and regard her carefully. 

For her alone, O friend, we do not know. 

Thou'rt a long time about it. 
Mne. Ah! by Jove, 

I'm troubled with a wretched strangury, 

For yesterday I some nasturtiums eat. 
Clis. What prat'st thou of nasturtiums ^? wilt thou not 

Come hither to me? 
Mne. Feeble as I am, 

Why drag me thus? 
Clis. Tell me, who is thy husband 

Mne. Enquir'st thou for my husband ? knowest thou ( 

A certain townsman of CothocidBB^ ? 
Clis. A certain one? who? is it he that once — 
Mne. The certain son of somebody. 
Clis. Thou triflest, 

As it appears to me — hast thou come hither 

Ere this ? 
Mne. Ay, every year, by Jupiter. 

Clis. And who's thy fellow-lodger? 
Mne. Mine? a certain— 

Ah ! wretched me ! 

' tI rapBafilZiic ; this verb is foimed. accordiog u> the manneT of ArislophaDes, 

from aaplaiia, nhicb [ermioales the preceding line. Compiire tkt Waspi, (v. 6&2.) 

raaaai, loai fii) ffa5-ipi££,— (Beigler.) 

■ The Calhocidn were, accordiDg to the Scholiasl. a buigh of the tribe .£nei«. 
Id which belonged the otllor jEichines. 



Clis. Thou sayest nought. 

W, 5. Depart, 

For rU examine her in proper style 

Touching the sacrifices of last year. 670 

Depart thou from me [to Clisthenes] since thou 
may'st not listen. 

Being a man. Now tell me which of all 

The sacred rites was first laid open to us? 
Mne. Let's see, what was the first? what first? we drank — 
W. 5. And what was next to this ? 

Mne. We drank to healths. 

W. 5. This thou hast heard from some one — ^what was third ? 
Mne. Xenylla ask'd a cup, since there was not 

A chamber utensil. 
W. 6. Thou talkst of nothing. 

Come hither, hither come, O Clisthenes, 

This is the man of whom thou makest mention. 680 
Clis. What shall I do then ? 
W. 5. Strip him, for he speaks 

Nothing that's sound. 
Mne. And will you then disrobe 

A mother of nine children? 
Clis. O thou man 

Lost to all shame, quickly unloose thy girdle. 
W. 5. How firm and confident a mien she has ! 

Nor any breasts like us, by Jupiter. 
Mne. 'Tis that I'm barren, nor have e'er been pregnant. 
W. 5. Is this the story now ? but then thou wert 

A mother of nine children. 
Clis. Stand upright. 

♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ ♦ 690 

♦ ♦ * ♦ * 

♦ * « ♦ ♦ 

♦ * # * ♦ 
« « # ♦ ♦ 

W. 5. O the polluted wretch ! he brought against us 

These slanders in Euripides' defence. 
Mne. Ill-fated me, in what affairs have I 

Involv'd myself! 


W. 5. Come now, what aiust we do? 

Clis. Guard this man well, lest suddenly departing 
He flee away — but to the Prytanea 
Will I relate th' affair. lExk. 

Clio. It then behoves us 

To light our lamps, and well and manfully 
Girding ourselves, to doff our cloaks, and seek 
If any other man hath enter'd here, 
Running around the Pnyx's whole extent, 
And searching through the tents and avenues ^ 

S.-C, First, then, 'tis right to move a nimble foot, 
And send our view in silence on all sides. 
Only we must not dally, since for trifling 
There ia no longer time — but it behoves us 
To run as swiftly round as possible. 
Come quickly now, investigate and search 
In all directions, whether lying atill 
Some other man have not escapVI our notice. 
Cast on all sides your eye, this way and that, 
Examine carefully, lest any one 
Who works iniquity our search elude ; 
He shall be punish'd, and moreover be 
To all the rest of mortals an example 
Of insult, deeds unjust, and impious manners. 
He shall pronounce that clearly there are gods. 
And show to all men how the deities 
Are to be reverenc'd, that such as follow 
Justice, and meditate on law divine. 
Act in a proper way — and if they fail 
To do this, such will be the consequence. 
Should any one in an unholy act 
Be taken, burning in his angry mood. 
And madly raging, if he aught commit. 



•> From this passage msy he inferred Ihe very great eitenl of Iha Pny« (o( Pyax) 
irnpil ril wvcvovitQai ro*c oxXouC, (Sehol.)i "ho further informs us that tha 
iceoe was la this phy occupied by lents for the reception of the female assembly. 
Scaliger proposes to read irvjcva Tcaaav ineteid o! irvita, nhich is the reading of 
Bekker and Invemirias, who interprets (hj lenti and 6j-ii'oyi of the whole city. 
The obliqae cases of irvii are either itvKvie or rvicvici rvvtl or vtiKvl. (Kuiter.) 

864 THE THESMOPHORIAZUS^. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

To men and women all 'tis clear to view, 730 

That God with speedy vengeance vnll repay 

Th' unholy violation of his laws. 

But it appears to us that all has heen 

Examin*d carefully — at least we see 

No other man who sits concealed. 

W.6, Ah! Ah! 

Whither art flying? wilt thou not remain? 
Of wretched, wretched me ! he*s snatch'd away 
My infant from the breast, and vanish'd with it. 

Mne. Cry as thou wilt — but never shalt thou feed 

This child with cakes, if you dismiss me not. 740 

But here, struck with this sword upon the thighs ^, 
Its veins shall dye the altar with their blood. 

W. 6. wretched me ! will you not help, ye women ! 
And with prodigious clamour rear a trophy? 
But will you suffer me to be depriv'd 
Of this my only son ? 

Cho. Ah, ah ! O band 

Of venerable fates, what novel portent 
Do I behold ? for these are all the deeds 
Of shameless daring — what an act, O friends. 
Is this which he again has perpetrated ? 750 

How shall I your extreme self-will subdue ? 

Cho. Are not these direful deeds, and past expression ? 

W. 6. Direful indeed, that he has snatch'd away 
My infant! 

Cho. What then can one say to this. 

That acting thus he manifests no shame ? 

Mne. Not yet will I desist ! 

W. 6. But thou wilt not 

Come back to that point whence thou hast departed. 
And in requital of thine impious deed, 

* — — dXK* kvdaS't kTri tSjv fiypiiav 

TrXriykv iiaxo-ipq. rySi (ftoiviag 0Xe/3ac 
KadaiiJ,ariO(Xii fSatjjLov. 

Kuster here remarks with great probability that these lines doubtless belong to 
some tragic poet, as the style sufficiently indicates, being more adapted to the 
buskin than the sock. 


Thou shalt not boast to have escap'd, but bear 
The evil recompense. 

Mne. Let not this happen 760 

By any means ! I ward it off with prayers. 

W. 6. And which of the immortal gods will come 
As your ally with these unholy deeds I 

Mne. You apeak in vain, I will not let her go. 

Cho. But you shall not, by the two goddesses. 
Still with impunity insult, and speak 
Unholy words : since with ungodly deeds 
We will repay thee for them, as 'tis just. 
But haply to another kind of ill 

Changing, some fortune may restrain thy course, 770 
But thou must bear these with thee, and some wood, 
To fire with all despatch this impious man. 

W. 6. O Mania, let us go and search for vine-twigs. 
That I may show thee half-consum'd to-day. 

Mne. Set fire and burn — do thou the Cretan robe 
Quickly put offhand for thy death, O child, 
No other woman than thy mother blame. 
But what is this ? the damsel is become 
A full wine-cask, tho' wearing Persian shoes. 

most bold women, O most given to drink, 780 
And ye who by all means contrive to fill 

Your sottish appetites ! O ye who are 

A mighty gain to vintners, but our ruin; 

The plague too of our furniture and woof. 
W. 6. Heap on, O Mania, store of twigs. 
Mne. Yes, heap them. 

But answer me this question — Dost thou say 

That thou hast borne this infant? 
W.6. Ten full months 

1 bare him. 

Mne. Thou? 

W. 6. I swear it, by Diana. 

Mne. Holding three cotylae, or how much ? tell me. 

W. 6. What hast thou done to me ? O shameless man, 790 

Thou hast undress'd my little infant! 
Mne. Little? 




266 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act ii. Sc. i. 

W. 6. Tiny, by Jupiter. 

Mne. How many years 

Since it was bom? Three or four wine libations^? . 

W. 6. Almost 80, and as much time as hath passed \ 

From the late Dionysiac festival ; 

But give it back. 
Mne. Not this one, by Apollo. 

W. 6. Then will we bum thee. 
Mne. Bum me if you will. 

But instantly this woman shall be slain. 
W. 6. Not so, I supplicate theie, but on me 

Perform thy pleasure, rather than on him. 800 

Mne. Thou art by nature fond of progeny. 

Yet not the less this infant shall be slain. 
W. 6. Alas, my child ! give me the basin. Mania, 

That I at least may gather up his blood. 
Mne. Place it beneath — so far I'll gratify you. 
W. 6. An evil end await thee ! as thou art 

Replete with envy and malevolence. 
Mne. This is the skin belonging to the priestess. 
W. 6. Which is the priestess' property ? 
Mne. Take this. 

W. 7. Most wretched Mica! say who hath bereav'd 810 

And taken from thee thy beloved child ? 
W. 7. This daring wretch, but since he's present there. 

Guard him, that having taken Clisthenes 

Before the Prytanes, I may declare 

What he hath done. 
Mne. Come now, what safe contrivance 

Will be discover'd ? what experiment. 

What machination ? for the guilty man, 

He who in all this trouble hath involv'd me, 

^ TptiQ x^^C V TBTTapag, This is au allusion to the feast of cups, of which 
such frequent mention is made in the Acharnians. This was celebrated on the 
second day of the Lensan feasts, the second of the month Anthesterion. The 
feast was held every year, and therefore Mnesilochus, wishing to know the age of 
the infant, facetiously enquires how many Choa have elapsed since its birth. It is 
not improbable that the Athenians marked the age of their vnne l^y the number of 
liberalia or feasts of Bacchus, as the Romans distinguished theirs by the name of 
the consul. (Hor. Od. iii. 21.1; 28. 7, 8.) 


800—840.] THE THESMOPHORIAZUS^. 267 

Nowhere appears. Come, then, what messenger 

Can I despatch for him? I know a trick 820 

Of Palamedes' sort ' — like him I'll write 

On oars, and throw them from me — but no oars 

Are here — whence then shall! procure them? whence? 

But what if I should cast these statues down, 

And write on them instead? 'Twere better far, 

These also are of wood, and those were wood. 

O now my hands, your aid I ask 

To work a salutary task. 

Ye tablets of the pohsh'd pine, 

Receive the graver's furrow'd line ; 830 

Heralds of my laborious woe ; 

{Ah me, this execrable Rho ! 

Thro' what meandering course it strays !) 
Haste, for 'tis needed, through the various ways. [Exit. 

Chorus {Anapessttc). 
To the spectators having turn'd, let's speak 
Well of ourselves — for of the female tribe 
Speaks every one in terms of high reproach, 
That we're an universal plague to men, 
And that from us spring all calamities. 
Contention, strife, sedition, hard grief, war; 840 

But come now, wherefore do you marry us. 
If we are truly evil? and forbid 
That any one of us should issue forth, 
And be surprised while from the window leaning ? 
But seek you with such care to guard a plague ? 
Then if perchance the woman issue forth. 
And you detect her anywhere from home, 

' oW iyii rat i^ wapov 

in Tov HdkanriSovs. 
This passage, according to ihe Scholiast, alludes to Euripides' tragedy of Pala- 
medes, in nhich his mother Oax U made to describe his death upon the oars of the 
vessel, in order ihat thej when borne lo Sauphlius may announce the tidings of 
bis son's dissolution. In like manner Mnesilochus is represented as sacrilegiously 
employing the statues of the gods lo convey to Euripides informBlion of his petilous 
condilion, and to claim his aid promised at v, 270 ; and casts Ihem away, saying, 
dniXStrE, atiitavari Bvpiirifiji. 




268 THE THESMOPHORIAZUS^, [Act ii. Sa i. 

Ye rage with madness, ye, who rather should 

Offer libations to the gods with joy. 

If truly you have found the mischief vanish'd, 850 

Nor any longer have it in the house. 

And if fatigu*d with play we fall asleep 

In other mansions, every one seeks out 

This evil, rambling up and down the beds. 

And if we thrust our head out at the windovr. 

Desires to look upon the plague — and if, 

Urg'd back by modest feelings, she retreat. 

So much the more each wishes to behold 

The shrinking plague — thus are we manifestly 

By much your betters, as on trial made 860 

Will presently appear : let us then try 

Which are the worst ; we say 'tis yoii, and ye 

Retort on us ; let us consider then. 

And place each rival name in opposition. 

Of man and woman — how Chartniiius is 

Worse than Nausimache " — his deeds are plain — 

And Cleophon in all respects inferior 

To Salabaccho — for a length of time 

No one of you would undertake to vie 

With Aristomache °, that Marathonian ; 870 

No one in fight contend with Stratonice ; 

But of the bygone year what counsellor. 

Who has resigned his office to another. 

Is better than Eubula ® ? He will not 

°> It appears from Thucydides (book viii.) that Charminus the Athenian gene- 
ral, in the twentieth year of the Peloponnesian war, lost three triremes in a naval 
combat against Astyochus the Lacedaemonian, near the island of Rhodes. Nau- 
simache and Salabaccho were celebrated courtezans, and Cleophon was a maker 
of lyres, whom our poet satirizes on account of his effeminacy. 

° Bergler remarks that this is hot the name of a woman, but a word compounded 
of dpierri} fidxfit and meant to designate the most illustrious battle of Marathon, 
in which the A thenians conquered a most numerous army of Persians under Da- 
rius. Stratonice in the next line is also a figurative appellation for some victory 
obtained by the Athenian forces. 

^ This is also, as the Scholiast says, a feigned appellative ; who likewise re- 
marks that the meaning of this whole speech is not very clear, any more than a 
passage in the Hyperbolus of Plato, in which the words /SovXcvecv and jSpvXevralc 
occur. On this line Palmer observes that Thucydides, in the beginning of his 

850-900.] THE THESMOPHORIAZUS.^. 269 

Himself affirm it — thus we boast ourselves 

To be by far superior to mankind : 

Nor would a woman after she has stolen 

Near fifty talents from the public store, 

In a yoked chariot to the city come. 

But when her greatest theft has been committed, S80 

A basketful of corn, the self-same day 

She gives it back to her defrauded husband. 

But we could show full many of these men 

Who act in the same manner — and besides. 

Some far more given to gluttony than we, 

To kidnapping of garments, shrines, and men. 

They are besides inferior to ourselves 

In keeping the paternal property, 

For we have even now preserv'd our beam, 

The distaff, baskets, and the parasol, 890 

But to a multitude of these our husbands, 

The very spear-beam has heen lost at home; 

While many others in the expedition 

Have from their shoulders thrown away the biickler''. . 

We women might bring many just reproaches 

{And one above the rest) against the men, 

For it was right should any one of us 

Bring forth a man of service to the state, 

A taxiarch or general, to receive 

Some share of honour — and that precedence 900 

Should be assigned her in the Steniac feasts. 

The Scirian, and the vest that women rule". 

histoi; at the twenly-lirBt year of the war, speaks of the dissolution of (be AtheaUn 
democracj, and the delivery of the supreme power iato olber hands, bj the supine 
magiBlralB of the preceding year, Trapa^ofif irtpoic ri/v jiovXilav. Hence Ati- 
atophanes, with great propriety, speaks of toSi/ mpaaiv Tis fioiiXurriis. 

' ippnrTai ri aaaStiov ; literal); the tim-brella, carried in the feasts of Ceres and 
Proserpine. This passage is a satirical stroke at Cleouymus, rbv ^hfiaaTi 
Scholiast B»ys aiviTTiTai li tal lis KXtiniftov. 

1 S riji'ioiiffi xal Scfpoii 


The former of these words it in the connnoa editions, and the Ravenna MS., t 
niptly written Tiivimvi ; instead of which, aome read Btiatloim, but lh« aulhority 


But if she bear a fellow base and eyil^ 

Some wretched trierarch or admiral. 

That she should sit behind, vnth shaven crown. 

The brave-producing matron ; for, O city. 

How is it just that she, who brought to light 

Hyperbolus, should sit in spotless robe 

And flowing hair near Lamachus* mother. 

And lend her money out at' usury; 910 

From whom, if she had lent to any one. 

And made some interest, it behov'd no man 

To bring the usance, but to take away 

By force the money, with this speech, '' indeed thouVt 

Of interest, having brought forth such increase.** 

Mnesilochus, Seventh Woman. 

Mne. I am become dried up with expectlEUion '. 
But he nowhere appears, and what can be 
Th* impediment ? sure he must be asham'd 
Of his cold Palamedes *• By what drama 
Shall I attract him then? I know — I'll mimic 920 

His recent drama Helen — since I have 
A woman's garment altogether fitting, 

WoM.What meditatest thou anew? or what 

Rollest thine eyes in search of? thou wilt soon 

both of Suidas and Photius sufficiently defend the lection adopted in the text. The 
former is indeed very express. — 

Sr^via Kal Scipa, iopral yvvaiKwv, 

and from the latter it appears that at these festivals the assembled women exercised 
to abuse the licence of mutual crimination. 

' I have here followed Kuster's ingenious emendation, ai&oQ for the common 
2XX6c; as it would be indeed a strange effect of expectation to make a person 
hUar'eyed. This conjecture he defends by referring to Eccles, 146. Sbj/ti a^avav 
Oriffofiai, and the Frogs, v. 1121. d^avdvBtjv ykXiov. Brunck, however, contend! 
that the common reading is correct, and compares Plautus (Men. v. 3, 6.}, < lumbi 
sedendo, oculi exspectando dolent ;* where, however, the right word appears to be 
9peetando» The reading in Scaliger's Excerpta is oXXoq, 

« This is the tragedy of Euripides satirically alluded to by our poet at v. 8I4. 

910—940.] THE THESMOPHOKIAZUS^. 271 

See cause to rue thy Helena, unless 

Thou ahalt behave thyself with modesty, 

Before one of the Prytiines appear, 
Mne. [as Helen] These are the fountains of the Nile', resort 

Of beauteous virgins, Nile who irrigates, 

Instead of dew divine fair Egypt's soil, 930 

That breeds the black syrmaea for her people. 
WoM.Thou'rt crafty, by light-bearing Hecate. 
Mne. a land illustrious is my country, Sparta, — 

My father, Tyndarus. 
WoM. Abandon'd wretch ! 

Was he thy father ? sure it is Fhrynondas. ^ 
Mke. I am call'd Helen. 
WoH. Art thou then once more 

A woman, ere thou hast the forfeit paid 

Of thy first female metamorphosis ? 
Mne. " Thro' me have many lives been sacrific'd 

At the Scamandrian stream." 
TVoM. Would thou hadst died too ! 910 

Mne. And I am there as well — l)ut Menelaus 

My hapless husband, is not yet arriv'd. 

Why should I then still live for lack of crows ? 

But something as it were my heart beguiles. 

Then frustrate not, O Jove, the rising hope. 

Enter Euripides as Menelaus. 

Eua. Who hath the rule o'er this well-guarded house? 
That he to port the strangers might receive, 
Labouring at sea with wintry storm and shipwreck? 

Mne. This is house of Proteus. 

Eur. Of what Proteus ? 

■ Thii is tlw begioniDg af ihe EBise tragedian's Helen, irho, in the Ibird ver 

Xfwtijc Tamifrtii xwvoc iypalvti yias- 
nhicli line our poet latiricEill; parodlea tfaus, 

Xiujc^E voriZii iiiXavoavpftatav Xciv, 
Maiiog to the lyrinea, a purgative herb in common uu with the Egyptians, mi 
tioned by Heiodotus (Euterpe, ii, 77.), aod by TrygEus in the Peace, v. 121 
Tha Scholiut lajn that the lyrnina is a beverage made or barley. 


872 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act ui. Sc. i. 

WoM.O thrice ill-fated ! by the goddesses 950 

He lies, for Proteus has been dead ten years. 
Eur. But to what country have we moor*d our bark ? 
Mne. Egypt. 

Eur. O wretched, whither have we sail'd ? 

WoM.Believest thou th' abandoned wretch's trifling ? 

This is the Thesmophorium. 
Eur. And is Proteus 

Himself within or gone abroad " ? 
WoM. Why sure 

You must be still at sea, who, having heard 

That Proteus is defunct, ask if he be 

Within or out of sight ? 
Eur. Alas ! he's dead. 

And in what sepulchre is he entomb'd ? 960 

Mne. This is his monument by which we're sitting. 
WoM.May'st thou die wretchedly, as sure thou wilt. 

Who dar'st to call the shrine a monument. 
Eur. But wherefore sit in these sepulchral seats, 

O veiled stranger? 
Mne. 'Tis that I am forc'd 

To share the nuptial couch with Proteus' son. 
WoM. Wherefore again, O wretch, deceive the stranger ? 

Hither this crafty knave is come, O outcast, 

After us women, to abstract our gold. 
Mne. Bark, and with malediction strike my body. 970 

Eur. Stranger, who's this old woman that reviles you ? 
Mne. This is Theonoe, from Proteus sprung. 
WoM.Nay by the goddesses, I am Kritylla, 

Antitheus the Gargettic townsman's daughter *. 

" By the Thesmophorium is to be understood the temple of Ceres and Proser- 
pine. The remaining part of the line Brunck conjectures to be a satirical blow 
aimed at Euripides for his frequent use of the word kKtoviog, which however does not 
occur above four or five times in his preserved dramas, irpoviavrjc and Trpovwrnog, 
scarcely so often. The answers of Euripides in this part of the dialogue are centos 
taken from his tragedies chiefly, Teucer and Helen. The woman shows by her 
answer to Euripides' question in this line, that she mistakes the Egyptian Proteus, 
father of Theoclymenus, for Proteus, son of Iphicles the Athenian general, who 
had died some time before, and who is mentioned by Thucydides in his first and 
second books. (See the Helena of Euripides, vv. 60 — 66.) 

* The reading of the Junta edition is ei fiff, instead of elfil, which is doubtless 



But thou'rt a villain. 
Mne. Say whate'er thou wilt. 

For never will I marry with thy brother. 
Having of old my husband Menelaus 
In Troy betray'd. 

Woman, what hast thou said? 
Bend back thine eyes. 

I am asham'd to view thee, 
With cheeks dishonour'd thus. 

What evil's this? i 
A certain speechless stupor seizes me. 
O gods, what sight is this ? who art thou woman? 
But who art thou ?— for the same cause of wonder 
Both thee and 

Art thou Grecian, 
Or female of this country? 

I am Grecian. 
But wish to know thy native land a 
To me thou seemest most like Helen, woman. 
And thou like Menelaus, by the potherbs*. 
Truly thou seest that most unhappy man. 
O thou who comest late to thy wife's 
Take, take me, husband, throw thy hands around t 
Come let me kiss thee, and with all despatch, 
Take and convey, convey, convey me hence. 
■ Nay, hy the goddesses, who hears you off, 

:sct one. iDdeed nothing 





f! Ill) KptriXKa y' iv ri SeoB yi-p yi\iTiSiv. 
Instead o( AvrtSiov, FarreuE reads ivrl Slav (compare Achar. v. 46. Aji^ietoi-). 
The woid rapyiiTT69iv denotes an inhabitant of the villago in Attica wbeacfl 
Epicurus was named Gargettiua. Inveiniiiiua says very truly — " Imprcssi libii 
hoc loco ineptias hab«nt." 

y It Tuiv lipvwv. Alluding, probably, to the ignoble parentage of Euripides, 
whose mother obtained hsr living hy the sale of herbs. Bergler, however, con- 
tends that the right reading here is in ruiv d^puiuv, as if Mnesilocbus professed Ui 
recognise Menelaus by his shaggy eyebrows : the word i^liiav again occurs in the 
first Fragment of the FhoBQiiaiB of our poet. 
'is triTTOv 

This part of the dialogue is from the Helena of Euripides. 


874 THE THESMOPHORIAZUS^. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

Struck by the lamp, shall rue his crime in tears. 
Eur. Forbidd'st thou me to bring my wife to Sparta, 

The child of Tyndarus ? 
WoM. Ah me, bow crafty 

Thou seemest too, and like him in design ! 

Yet prate erst of Egypt, not in vain. 

But this man shall afford just retribution, 1000 

For near the Prytanes and archer come. 
Eur. This is unlucky — but we must retire. 
Mne. And what shall I ill-fated do ? 
Eur. Rest quiet. 

For while I live, I never will betray thee. 

Unless my myriad stratagems desert me. 
Mne. This Une has drawn up nothing*. 

Enter a Prytane. 

Pry. Is this he. 

The rogue whom Clisthenes described to us ? 
Why hidest thou thyself? — O lictor, bring. 
And bind him to the plank, then place him here. 
So guarding him that no one may approach, 1010 

But take the whip and strike, should any come. 

WoM.By Jove, how nearly had a sail-maker* 
But now snatched him from me! 

Mne. O Prytane, 

By thy right hand, which thou art wont to stretch 
Hollow, should any one give money, grant me 
A trifling boon ; although about to die. 

Pry. What shall I grant thee ? 

Mne. Bid the lictor strip. 

And, when I*m naked, bind me to the plank. 
That not in saffron robes and woman's head-gear. 
In my old age, I may be food for crows, 10^ 

■ An elegant proverbial saying, applied to such as lose their labour in vain 
efforts, and the metaphor is taken from fishermen. The yerse is commonly gfyeh to 
the seventh woman, but I think, with Brunck, that it evidently belongs to the per- 
son of Mnesilochus. 

* Euripides is here designated by the contemptuous title iaTioppd<pog, which 
Kuster translates Sutorfraudum (see v. 872.) 


And give myself a theme for ridicule. 
Pry. These by the senate's order thou must wear, 
That ali there present may behold thy craft. 
Mne. All me ! O saffron robe, what hast thou done ? 
Nor is there any hope of safety more. 

[Exit with Prytane. 
Clio. Now sport we as the custom is w 

When at the solemn hours we celebrate 
The sacred orgies of the goddesses. 
That homage fasting Pauson pays^, 
As oft from hour to hour lie prays 1030 

That they would grant him still to share 
This fruit of his religious care. 
Come on, with nimble foot advance, 
In circles to the mazy dance ; 
Join hand to hand — let each proceed 
As the directing choir may lead. 
With nimble feet pursue thy way, 
And let thine ever-circling glance 

The choral group survey. 
Ye too, Olympic race divine, 1040 

Your voice in melody combine; 
Unrighteous are his thoughts and vain, 
Who hopes that in the sacred fane 
A woman should the men malign. 
But first 'tis right the well-form'd step to place 
(Like some new labour) in the circling race. 

Let PhcEbus too, who rules the lyre. 
With Dian, sacred queen, the song inspire. 
Hail, O far-darting god, and conquest bring. 
Then Juno, as in justice bound, we'll sing, 1050 

Who in the festal choir delights, 

And holds the key that guards the nuptial rites'. 

'' He ivas a man whose eitreme poverty had passed into g proveib (mentiDned 

also in PliiUts, v. S02 ;) and who keeps the fast which was held the third day 

of the I'hesmophotia, not like the women froro motives of devotion, but because he 

had not nherewithal to bieak it (»ee v. 1155. and lAe Birds, v. IS IB.) Hotibiut 

der them in (hat light. 
' From this peculiar attribute of her divinity, Juno obtained her Roman appel- 
T 2 


276 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act hi. Sc. i. 

To Hermes, I address my prayer, 

^Vho makes the pasturing herds his care. 

With Pan and nymphs, a friendly train. 

Their ready smile upon our choirs to deign. 
And, as the heavenly band you greet. 
The hands in due accordance beat. 
Let us, O women, strike the ground, 

As law ordains, and be our fast profound. 1060 
But come, and with well-cadenc'd feet. 
Turn, as you tune the song around. 
O sovereign Bacchus, be thyself our guide. 
Whose hair with ivy wreaths is tied ; 
Thus I will sing with loud acclaim 
Evius and Dionysus' fame, 

Bromius and, son of Semele, thy name. 
Who hast with nymphs thy chief delight 
To sport upon the mountains' height **. 
While Euion, Euoe, the chorus cries, 1070 

And Echo from Cithaeron's hill replies ^ 
The black-leav'd mountains' shady seat 
And rocky woods the name repeat ; 
While circling round thee, as they grow. 
Thine ivy's verdant tendrils blow. 

lation. " Junonem dicunt quasi janonem id est januaro, eo quod quasi portas ma- 
trum natonim pandat." (Isid. Hisp. Origin, viii. ii.) This is a more probable etymon 
than that of Cicero (de Nat. Deor. i. 29.) ajuvando, 

' With the conclusion of this spirited and highly poetical chorus, compare the 
choral hymn of Bacchus, in Sophocles (^Antigone, 1129, sqq.), 

HoXvbtvofit, KaBfidaQ , 

particularly antistrophe a. The Scholiast, on that passage, gives many other 
appellations to the son of Semele ; ol Sk Avotov, ol dk Eipct^utriiv, ol Sk Aif/i^- 
rpiov, 01 di AiBvpafiPov . 

« Hence, probably, the imperial poet Nero, so boldly alluded to by Persius (Sat. 
i. 102.), borrowed his high-sounding line, " Enim ingeminat, reparabilis adsonat 
Echo," which, with the three immediately preceding it, are supposed to be taken 
from his tragedy called Baccha. 

1060—1090.] THE THESMOPHORIAZUS-^. ^77 


A Scythian Archer and Mnesilochus. 

Arc. \to Mne.] Here now lament thy sorrows to the air. 

Mne. O lictor, I beseech thee — 

Arc. Ask me not. 

Mne. Loosen the nail. 

Arc. The very thing I'm doing, [tightens it. 

Mne. Unhappy me ! thou'lt drive it in the more. 

Arc. Still more if thou wilt have it so. 

Mne. Ah! ah! 1080 

In evil fashion may's t thou perish — 
Arc. Silence, 

Unfortunate old man. Come let me bring 

A mat, to guard thee. 
Mne. Such are the blest fruits 

Of my acquaintance with Euripides. 

Ha ! — there are hopes, ye gods, preserving Jove. 

The man appears not likely to betray me. 

But Perseus, when he ran out, secretly 

Gave me a sign to play Andromeda. 

In truth I'm chain' d — therefore 'tis manifest 

That he will come to save me, otherwise 1090 

He had not flown away. 
Eur. [as Perseus.] O virgins dear. 

How can I move, unnotic'd by the Scythian ? 

Thou who conversest with the nymphs in caves ^^ 

O hear, and grant me to approach the woman. 
Mne. Devoid of pity was the man who bound me *, 

f This and the following lines of Euripides' speech are, according to the Scho- 
liast, a parody of Andromeda's address to Echo, where, instead of iatrov (jdq T^v 

yvvdiKa fi kXOtiv, we read 


'Axoi fii <rifv ^LXaig 

y6ov ttSOov Xa/SeTv. 

The tragedy of Andromeda made its appearance on the Athenian stage the year 
before this comedy of our poet (see v. 1060.) 

9 This long and pathetic lamentation of Mnesilochus is partly taken from tht 

278 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

The most distressed of mortals — scarce ha " I 

Fled from the vile old woman but I'm lost ; 

For by me long this Scythian guard bath stood. 

Having suspended this lost, friendless body, 

A supper to the crows — seest thou? I stand not 1100 

With my coeval virgins in the dance. 

Holding the ballot-box's osier lid ; 

But in these thick enfolding fetters bound, 

I am expos'd as food to the sea-monster \ 

Not with the nuptial Pasan, but the strain 

That fits a captive ; mourn me, O ye women. 

As one who dire misfortunes have sustained. 

O wretched, wretched me ! — but from my kindred. 

Even from the man by whom I was entreated. 

Who wak'd the burning tear of lamentation 1110 

In Pluto — I endure these woes unjust. 

Ah ! Ah ! Ah ! Ah ! from him who shav'd me first. 

Who cloth'd me in a saffron-colour'd robe ; 

Then sent me to this woman-haunted temple. 

O ruthless deity that guid'st my fate ! 

Ah me devoted ! who will not behold 

My present huge and evil load of suffering ? 

Oh ! might th' etherial star that glows with fire 

The barbarous wretch destroy ! for I no more 

Have pleasure to behold th' immortal flame, 1120 

Since I have been suspended, driven to madness 

By these sharp pains that press against my throat. 

And open a swift passage to the dead. 

Enter Euripides in the form q/'EcHO. 

Eur. Hail, O dear child ! but for thy father Cepheus, 
Who has expos'd thee, may the gods destroy him. 

Mne. But who art thou, that pitiest my affliction ? 

Eur. Echo, that like a cuckoo sings back words ; j 

Who the past year, and in the self-same place, 

Andromeda and partly supplied by the feeling of his own calamity, which, as 
Brunck observes, has a roost facetious effect. 

^ Literally, to Glaucetes, a notorious glutton of that time, satirically named with 
Morychus and Teleas, and others of the same class in the Peace, (v. 973.) 



1100—1140.] THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE, 279 


Was an assistant to Euripides. 

But it behoves thee to do this^ O child, 1130 

Weep piteously. 
Mne. Thou, too, in turn must weep. 

Eur. This shall be my care — but begin thy speech. 
Mne. O sacred Night*, 

Urging thy long equestrian flight, 
And passing in thy chariot's track 

O'er holy ether's starry back. 
Along Olympus' venerable height, 
Eur. [as Echo.] Oljrmpus' venerable height — 
Mne. Wherefore have I, Andromeda, 

Of ills above the rest a lot obtain'd? 1140 

Eur. a lot obtain'd ? 

Mne. Wretched in death. 

Eur. In death. 

Mne. Thou wilt destroy me, O loquacious hag ! 
Eur. Loquacious hag ! 
Mne. By Jove thou art come in 

To give us mighty trouble. 
Eur. Mighty trouble. 

Mne. O friend, permit me to sing forth alone 

My woes, and thou wilt gratify me — cease. 
Eur. Cease. 

Mne. Hurl thee to the crows. 

Eur. Hurl to the crows. 

Mne. What evil's this? 
Eur. What evil's this ? 

Mne. Thou art trifling. 

Eur. Trifling. 
Mne. Lament. 

Eur. Lament. 

Mne. Howl. 

Arc. I'll call the Prytanes. 

' This highly poetical invocation to night by Mnesilochus is taken verbatim 
from the prologue to the Andromeda of Euripides, (Fr. xxviii.) These verses are 
thus rendered by Eunius, as cited by Varro in his treatise de Lingud Latind. 

Quae cava coeli signitinentibus 
Conficis bigis. 

280 • THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act iv. Sc. i. 

Eur. ThePrytanes, 1150 

Arc. What mischief! 

Eur. Mischief! 

Arc. Whence that voice ? 

Eur. That voice ? 

Arc Speak'st thou ? 

Eur. Speak'st thou ? 

Arc Thou wilt lament. 

Eur. Lament. 

Arc Derid'st thou me ? 

Eur. Derid'st thou me ? 

Mn£. By Jove, 

Not ly but this near woman. 
Eur. This near woman. 

Arc. Where is the wretched creature ? she has fled. 

But whither art thou fled ? 
Eur. 'ther art thou fled ? 

Arc. Thou shalt not go unpunish'd. 
Eur. Go unpunish'd. 

Arc Yet dost thou mutter ? 

Eur. Dost thou mutter ? ' 

Arc Seize 

The wretched woman. 
Eur. Seize the wretched woman. 

Arc. This talkative and execrable woman''. 1160 

Eur. [ Under the figure of Perseus.] 

O gods^ to what barbarians* territory, 

Swift-slipper'd, have we come? for thro' mid air 

Cutting a way, I place my winged foot, 

Steering the course toward Argos, with the head 

Of Gorgo frighted. 
Arc What say*st thou of Gorgo ? 

Compare you a scribe's head to that of Gorgo ' ? 

^ This line in the old edition and that of Invernizius is expressed by one bar- 
barous word, 


The reader will remark several other barbarisms uttered by the Scythian archer in 
this curious dialogue ; TriorsiroTruivrj (rroOiif -q ^tavri ;) KaKKdtrKrjt or, according 
to the Ravenna codex, KaKKdoKi fiot (KayxdKng), i. e. KarayeXag fioc, etc. 
1 This line is also characteristic of the barbarophonic Scythian, 

1150— 1190.] THE THESMOPHORIAZUS^. 281 

Eur, I say ao. 

Arc. And I call it Gorgo too. 

EuK. Ha! what's this hill I see, and virgin-like, 

The goddesses, bound as a moored ship ? 
Mne. O stranger, pity my all-wretched state, 1170 

Release me from my chains. 
Arc. Speak thou not — Darest thou. 

Detestable, though doom'd to die, still talk? 
EoR. O virgin, how I pity, viewing thee 

Suspended in this guise ! 
Arc. 'Tis not a virgin. 

But an old cheating thief and daring sinner. 
Eur. Thou art in jeat, O Scythian, for this ia 

Andromeda, the child of Cepheus. 
Arc. Survey the members ; small do they appear? 
Eur. Bring me thy hand that 1 may touch the girl. 

Dear Scythian, for all men have their disease; 1180 

And passion for this damsel hath seiz'd me. 
Arc. I do not envy thee in any thing— 

But since th' occasion is thus turn'd to thee, 

I will not niggardly restrain thy lust. 
Eur, But why permittest thou me not, O Scythian, 

Soon as I've liberated her, to rush 

Into th' embraces of the marriage bed ? 
Arc, If thou so wishest for an old man's favour — 
Eur. By Jupiter, but I will break the chains — 
Arc. Then will I scourge thee. 

Eur. Ne'ertheless I'll dot. 1190 

Arc. And with this cimeter I'll cut thy head off. 
Eur. Alas ! what shall I do ? to what words turn ? 

But none his barbarous nature would receive ; 

For should you to the foolish offer maxims 

Of novel wisdom, you would lose your labour. 

But we must bring some other machination 

To suit him. 
Arc. Cursed fox, how has ho trick 'd me '. 

ri fpapfiaTca ai rj tiiraXy t^v ropyuvoi; j 




Mne. Remember, Perseus, in what wretched state 

Thou leav*8t me. 
Ar \ ^r ill you would receive tLe lash. 


Pallas, who in the dance delights, 1^ 

We here invoke with solemn rites ; 

Her that from nuptial yoke is free 

In unrestrain*d virginity. 

Our city*s weal her arm directs. 

And still with open might protects* 

In strength and majesty alone. 

By key -sustaining title known : 

Appear, O thou whose just disdain 

Abhorrent views the tyrant's chain. 

Th* assembled women call on thee, ijSlO 

And come with festive peace to me. 

Ye powers rever'd, propitious rove 

To this your consecrated grove. 

Where vainly men with lawless eye 

Into your holy orgies pry. 

While by the sacred torches' glare. 

Your face immortal ye declare. 

Come, we entreat, on suppliant knee, 

O much rever'd Thesmophorae ! 

Now hasten at our call, if e'er 1^20 

With favouring ear ye heard our prayer. 



Euripides and Chorus. 

Eur. Women, if in the future time ye wish 

To make a treaty with me, now you may. 
Since nothing evil shall offend your ear 
In any after age — thus I proclaim. 

Cho. And by what motive urgest thou this speech ? 

Eur. This man upon the board 's my relative ; 
If then I bear him off, never shall you 

1200—1250.] THE THESMOPHORIAZUS^. 283 

Hear my revilings — but if ye will not 
Obey me, for your secret acts at home 
I to your husbands will denounce you, soon 
As from the expedition they arrive. 
Cho, Know that you have persuaded us in this, 
But this barbarian guard do thou persuade. 

Enter the LictoRj Elaphion atul Teredos as Mutes. 
Eur. This is my province — and to bear in mind 

To do that which I told thee by the way, 

Is, O Elaphion, thine: first then pass over, 

And in thy bosom gather up the robe. 

Thou, O Teredon, blow the Persian dance. 
Arc. What is this buzzing? who hath rais'd the revel? 1240 
Eur. The damsel was preluding then, O lictor. 

For she comes forth to dance before some men. 
Arc. Dance she and play, I will not hinder her, 

How nimble, as a flea about the quilt ! 
EtTR. Come, take this garment up, O child, and sitting 

Upon the Scythian's knees, stretch forth thy feet. 

That I may free them from the shoes. 
Arc. Right, right, 

Sit down, sit down, yes, yes, my little daughter. 

Ah me, how round the breasts are, like a turnip ! 
Eur. Pipe quickly— dreadest thou the Scythian still? 1250 I 
Arc. Beauteous she is behind. 
Eur, You will lament. 

Unless she stays within. 
Arc. Let it be so. 

But fair's th' appearance of this manly frame. 
Eur. 'Tis well, take up thy garment ; now'a the hour 

For us to move. 
Arc. Will she not kiss me first ? 

Yes, surely, kiss him. 
Lie, Oh. oh, oh, ye gods. 

How sweet the embrace, like Attic honey ! wherefore 

Does she not sleep near me ? 
Eur. Fare thee well, lictor, 

For this cannot be done. 



284 THE THESMOPHORIAZUSiE. [Act v. Sc. i. 

Arc. Nay, nay, old woman. 

Grant me this favour. 

Eur. Wilt thou give a drachma ? 1^60 

Arc. Yes, yes, Fll give it. 

Eur. Bring the money then. 

Arc. But I have nought ; then take the hog-skin quiver. 

Eur. You bring her back again. 

Arc. Follow me, children. 

And, ancient matron, guard thou this old man. 
But what's thine appellation ? 

Eur. Artemisia* 

Arc. The name I shall remember — Artamouxia. 

Eur. Fraudulent Hermes, thou do*8t well in this. 
And run thou off, having receiv*d this child. 
Him will I free ; and thou, when disengag'd. 
Fly quickly, as thou canst, with all thy might, 1270 
And then stretch homeward to thy wife and children. 

Mne. This shall be my care, if I once, am freed. 

Eur. Be freed — thy task it is to flee before 
The lictor come to seize thee. 

Mne. This I'll do. lExit. 

Enter the Lictor. 

what a graceful little daughter's thine, 
Old woman ! and not difficult, but gentle ; 
Where is the crone ? Ah me ! how am I lost ! 
Where is our old man gone ? Oh, ancient dame, 

1 praise thee not — th' old woman, Artamouxia, 
Hath cheated me; hence run thou with all speed. 1280 
Quiver 'tis rightly call'd, for 'twas the price 
Of quivering love ; ah me ! what shall I do ? 
Where's the old woman ? Artamuxia. 

Cho. Ask'st thou for the old dame, who bore the lutestrings"'? 
Lie. Yes, yes, hast seen her? 

Cho. She is gone this way. 

Herself, with some old fellow in her train. 

™ fj <l>epiv tAq TTTiKriSag; the irrjKTig was, according to Fhotius in his Lexicon 
a kind of Lydian organ, struck without the plectrum. The French translator says 
vaguely, ** une vieille qui avoit un instrument de musique." 

1260—1299.] THE THESMOPHORIAZUS^. 285 

Lie. Wore the old man a saffron-colour'd robe ? 
Cho. Yes, thou may'st catch them yet, if thou pursue 

In this direction. 
Lie. O detested hag, 

By what way hath she run off? Artamuxia. 1290 

Cho. Pursue the straight path upward ; whither run you ? 

Wilt thou not follow in this way ? thy course 

Is backward. 
Lie. Hapless wight ! for Artamuxia 

Runs on another way. 
Cho. Run now, run now, 

With a fair wind to blow thee to thy ruin. 

We've play'd enough ; the hour is come 

That every damsel seek her home. 

And let the favouring pair who sway 

These festal rites our toils repay! [Exeunt. 1299 









CHORUS of certain Women. 

BLEPYRUS, the Husband of Praxagora. 



A man who places his money in the common stock, 

A man who does not, 








The Scene lies in Athens, in a 'public place near the house of 






This comedy contains the most violent satire against women that is 
extant, not even excepting the Lysistrata, which is in the same style ; 
Euripides, who is known as the declared enemy of the sex, has not 
written anything nearly so severe against them. The style of this 
piece is more elevated and forcible than that of any other. In fact 
Aristophanes has decidedly given it a tragic air, and his intention 
was no doubt to parody the diction of Euripides, above all in his Me- 
lanippe, a tragedy whicli does not now exist, where he has represented 
a female philosopher. Others say that Aristophanes here imitates 
the manner of Agathon, an effeminate tragic poet. The object of this 
comedy is simply to turn into ridicule the system of Plato in favour 
of the community of wealth, women, and children; and it is also a 
satire upon the ideal republics of the philosophers with laws like 
these, such as Protagoras had projected before Plato's time. This play, 
in my opinion, labours under the same faults as the Peace; the intro- 
duction, the private assembly of the women, the description of the 
assembly, are all treated in a most masterly style ; but towards the 
middle it comes to a stand still. Nothing remains but to show the 
confusion arising from the different coiam unities, especially from the 
community of women, and the appointment of the same rights in love 
for the old and ugly, as for the young and beautiful. This confusion 
is pleasant enough, but it turns too much upon one continually re- 
peated joke. " The old allegoric comedy, in general, is exposed to 
the danger of sinking in its progress. When a person begins with 
turning the world upside down, of course the strangest individual 
incidents will result, but they are apt to appear petty, compared with 
the decisive strokes of wit in the commencement." — Theatre of the 
Greeia. The necessity wc are under of saying but little upon the 
subject of this piece, should not however prevent us from satisfying 


the reasonable curiosity of our readers upon that part of it wluch 
relates to the Athenian government under the famoas PelopoDnesian 
war, for the further illustration of which I have thopght it advisable 
to translate the life of Conon, as abridged from Cornelius Nepos by 
Mons. Le Grasse of the Oratory. Conon an Athenian, the son of 
Timotheus, was called to the government of the republic in the 
course of the Peloponnesian war, during which time he commanded 
the armies both by sea and land, and acquitted himself so worthily 
of these employments, that the Athenians made him comptroller of all 
the islands, thinking that the highest honours they could bestow on 
him, were scarcely sufficient to testify their gratitude. His first con- 
quest was that of Pharas, a Lacedsemonian colony. Towards the end 
of the Peloponnesian war he was made praetor, when the power of 
Athens was entirely overthrown by the famous victory gained over 
Lysander near JEgos Potamos. Unfortunately Conon was then ab- 
sent from the army ; he was so eminently distinguished by his ex- 
perience in war and his able talents as a general, that it was univer- 
sally believed if he had commanded in the action victory would have 
crowned his arms'. Conon being at that time in Cyprus, and having 
heard the calamitous situation in which his country was placed, that 
Athens was besieged on all sides, and ready to submit to the Lace- 
daemonian yoke, retired to the court of Phamabazus, satrap of Lydia 
and Ionia, and son-in-law of the king of Persia. But if he took this 
step, it was more with a view to serve his fellow-citizens than to 
live there sheltered from insult in cowardly indolence. In fact, 
there was no step he did not take, even to the exposing his own 
person, in order to gain the coi^fidence and friendship of the satrap; 
and he succeeded to such a degree, that when the Lacedaemonians, 
after having triumphed over Athens, had violated the treaty con- 
tracted with Artaxerxes, and had sent over Agesilaus to attack his 
Asiatic dominions, trepanned thither by the traitor Tissaphemes, 
whom this war personally concerned, the Persian monarch gave the 
conduct of it to Conon, insomuch that no step was taken but in con- 
formity with the views and orders of the Athenian general. He was 
everywhere opposed to Agesilaus, who was a great captain ; and by 
his wise counsels frustrated the best concerted measures of that ge- 
neral, and it is unquestionable that had it not been for the advice of 

*■ The French translator has here followed the positive assertion of Corn. Nepos, 
which however is as positively contradicted by Xenophon and Plutarch : the latter 
of whom (in Vit. Lys.) states that Conon commanded the Athenians in person at 
JEgos Potamos against the forces of Lysander, and that after the battle he fled to 
Evagoras, king of Cyprus, with eight triremes. 


Conon, the king of Sparta would have pushed his conqucsta into Asia, 
even to mount Tanraa. Agesilaus hnving been recalled by the La- 
cetliemonians on account of the war which the Athenians and Bieo- 
tiana had just declared against them'', Conon continued in favour 
with the generals of the king of Persia, and was in all respects of 
great use to them. Artaxerxes was the only one who doubted the 
treason of Tissaphenies, and the important services which this satrap 
had rendered him appeared to warrant the friendship of which hia 
perfidy liad rendered him unwortliy ; and it is not surprising that 
this prince was very unwilling to suspect a man who had caused him 
to triumph over his brother Cyrus ; but Phnmabazus sent Conon to 
give him proof of it. Conon being arrived at court, addressed him- 
self to the chief officer of the palace, named Tithraustes, and in- 
formed him that he wished to speak to the king, a favour ho could 
only obtain through the interest of this minister. " I consent to it 
willingly," replied Tithraustes, " but first consider whether it would 
not be more proper for you to state in writing what you have to say, 
for if you wish to appear in the presence of the king you must adore 
him according to the Persian custom. If you feel unwilling to con- 
form to this usage, you may confide to me your instructions, and 
rest assured of my zeal in your service." " I do not refiise," replied 
Conon, " to render to the king your master the homage so justly due 
to his rank, but being bom the subject of a republic accustomed to 
command other nations, I should fear to offend it if 1 renounced its 
customs in order to conform myself to those of barbarians ; and not 
being willing to relinquish this point, he executed his commission in 
writing, and the king attached so much credit to his depositions that 
he immediately declared Tissaphernea the enemy of hia person and 
state, consented to the war against the Laceda;monians, and com- 
manded Conon to choose a treasurer for the management of the funds 
destined for the support of the troops. But Conou excused himself, 
and persuaded the king to give this office to Pharnabazus, who was 
more likely than he to know the abtliries of his subjects. Conon, 
after having received considerable presents from this liberal prince, 
went by his order into Cyprus, Pha-nioia, and along the coasts, in 
order to collect all the large vessels he could find, and equip the 
fleet, ready to act the following summer. According to liia wish 
Pharnabazus was given him as colleague in this expedition. The 
Lacedemonians had no sooner received news of the prcparatio 

.t pari of Ihe 
Female BBniugueri. 


made against them, than they thought very seriously of the war, less 
through fear of the barbarians, than that in the person of Conon 
there was opposed to them a courageous, prudent, and wise chief, 
supported by all the favour and riches of the Persian king. They 
quickly equipped a fleet, which they despatched under the command 
of Pisander. But Conon having attacked him in the environs of 
Cnidus, routed him after a sharp engagement, took several vessels, 
and sunk many others. This victory not only restored liberty to 
the Athenians, but it also freed all the Greeks from the unjust do- 
mination of the Lacedaemonians. Conon afterwards returned to 
Athens with a part of the vessels taken from the enemy ; he rebuilt 
the walls of the city and port, which Lysander had demolished, and 
distributed to its citizens five hundred talents which he had received 
from the liberality of Phamabazus. Conon, like mankind in general, 
could not support the favours of fortune with the same moderation 
he had shown when she was adverse to him. For seeing himself the 
ponqueror of the Lacedaemonians both by sea and land, he thought 
he had sufficiently revenged the outrages committed against his 
country, and framed enterprises of which he was unable to command 
the success. Nevertheless, as he proposed them more with a view to 
restore the republic of Athens to its ancient splendour than to weaken 
the power of the Persians, these projects were not disapproved, but 
even did honour to his probity and virtue. Thus relying upon the 
great authority he had acquired during the famous expedition of 
Cnidus, over the Greeks as well as the barbarians, he secretly con- 
certed a plan to reduce Ionia and Etolia uiider the dominion of the 
Athenians, but the plot not having been conducted with sufficient 
privacy, Tiribazus the governor of Sardis gained intelligence of it, 
and sent to desire Conon to repair to him, under pretext of entrust- 
ing him with some commission for the king of Persia. Conon not 
suspecting what was preparing for him, departed for the court of the 
satrap. But he was scarcely arrived there before he was thrown 
into prison, where he remained some time. Some authors pretend 
that he was conducted to the court of the king, and perished there. 
Others, on the contrary, assert that he found means to escape ; but 
it is doubted whether this were effected by the negligence or with 
the consent of Tiribazus. 




Praxagora alone (addressing her latiihorn). 

O Tiiou clear lustre of the wheel-turn'd lamp". 

Suspended best on Btations eminent, 

(For we thy birth and fortunes will declare, 

Since, fashion'd by the turn of potter's wheel, 

Tliy channels the sun's brilliant ofHce hold,) 

Stir up the signal flame agreed upon : 

For thee alone we serve, and justly, since 

Kven in our houses thou art present, when 

We exercise the various schemes of Venus, 

And no one drives away thy light, th' inspector 10 

Of our curv'd bodies : thou art present too 

When we in secret ope the storehouses 

With fruits replenish'd and the Bacchic stream. 

And though in these designs thou aidest us. 

Thou sayest nothing of them to our neighbours; 

Wherefore be privy to the present counsels, 

' Thii opening speech oF Praiagota, wlio has suspendetl ber lamp 1o astve aa a 
lignal to call her companions to the CDuncil held at the break of day, and addrettes 
her discourse to it, is givea ia a mock heroic style, which parodies ia an ingenious 
maoncr several passages of the tragedians, especially the opening of the Phceaisss 
of Euripides : 

la Ti)v iv aarpBiQ oipavov refituiv olhv, k. t. \. 
and the Ajax of Sophocles, v. B45. ed. Brunck. Mnliere appears lo have Iwrtawed 
the idea of the opening speech of Sosia in his Amphitryon from this ingenious 
harangue uf the Athenian female, as is observed by M, Brel, iu his ciccllenl com- 
Rienlar) on the French Aiiatophanes. 

294 THE FEMALE HARANGUERS. [Act i. Sc. ii. 

Which at the Scyrian feasts my friends decreed ^ 

But none of those who ought to have arriv'd 

Is present, though it draws towards the dawn ; 

And very soon the assembly will be form'd. 20 

It then behoves us to assume our seats. 

As, if you recollect, Sphyromachus 

Once said^, " It is expected for the women 

To sit apart and be concealed from men.*' 

What then can be the matter? have they not 

Sewn on the beards they were decreed to have ? 

Or was it hard for them to steal in secret 

The manly garments ? but I see this light 

Approaching : come noWy 1*11 retire again. 

Lest whoe'er comes should chance to be some man. SO 


Enter several Women and the Chorus. 

W. 1. 'Tis time to go, since now the herald cock'* 

At our approach a second time hath crow*d. 
Pra. And I, expecting your approach, have watch'd 

The whole night long : but come, and let me summon 

^ (&<ya Scipotc e^o^£ — For some account of these Scirian or Scyrian festivals, 
which were entirely presided over by women, see note on the The$mo{^oriazusaB, 
(v. 835), unless the place in the suburbs of Athens named Sictpa, and not the 
feast itself, is here intended. Photius in his Lexicon gives a detailed account of 
this feast, saying that rb ^Kipbv properly denotes the sacred umbrella (vKtaSetov) 
which was carried from the Acropolis to the place called Sjccpoc* from which the 
twelfth month Schirropkorion had its name, as being dedicated to Minerva Sciras: 
see V. 59, where the same words are repeated. 

c The Scholiast informs us that Prazagora here alludes to a decree of Sphyro- r 

machus, or as others say Cleomachus, (a tragedian who was ridiculed for mis- 
pronunciation,) that men and women should sit apart at the public spectacles. 
Instead of lyKaOi^^ofxkvag, some editions give dyaOiZofikvagf which Bisetus ex- 
plains by &ya9d Xsyovffag, and Palmer derives from dyaOig, a hall of thread. The 
word in some MSS. is KaOayta^ofikvagt i. e. saci'ijicio quasi consecratas, tanqttam 
templum, I agree with Dindorf in thinking that iyKaOiZofisvag is undoubtedly 
the true and most obvious reading. 

^ The cock is called the herald of this female assembly, because it was held 
towards the dawn of day. The verb denoting the act of making this proclamation 
(KtKOKKVKev) is again used by Bacchus in the Frogs, (v. 1376), and is applied to 
the cuckoo as well as the cock. 


Our neighbour here, by tapping »t her door, 
For she must act without her husband's knowledge, 
I heard indeed, while putting on uiy shoes, 
The rubbing of thy fingers at my door. 

W. 1. 1 see Chnarete and Sostrata 

Now coming hither with Philienete. 
Pra. Will you then hasten on, since Glyce swears 

That she who conies the last of us shall pay 

Of wine three gallons and of peas a chsenix. 
W. 1. And see you not besides Melestiche, 

Smicyth ion's consort, who in manly shoes 

Is hastening hither ? she alone, niethinks, 50 

At leisure from her husband is come out. 
W. 2. And do you not perceive Geusistrale, 

The vintner's wife, a lamp in her right hand? 

The consort of Philodoretus too. 

And of ChEeretades ? 
Pra, I see besides 

Full many other women coming to us, 

Of those who in the state are eminent". 
W. 3. 1, too, O dearest, with an anxious step, 

Ran quickly out of doors, and crept in hither ; 

For during the whole night my husband cough'd, HO 

Replete with evening sprats. 
Pra, Sit you down now. 

That I may ask you, since I see you here 

Assembled, whether you have done whate'er 

At Scira was decreed. 
W. 4, I liave at least ; 

First my armpits are denser than a thicket. 

As 'twas agreed upon ; then, when my husband 

Might to the forum go, I, with my body 

' yuvaicuQ, liri trip ior' a<fi\o{ Iv ry ir6\u. Tha interprelalioQ of ibe Stho- 
liau is, rouriirni' liiyti'ttc and o( llie Frencli tiaoElator, " i?'«sl I'eiiie dttftmme! 

996 THE FEMALE HARAN6UERS. [Act i. Sc. n. 

All o*er anointed, thro* the day would stand 

Tum*d to the sun, and basking in his beams '• 
W. 5. And I the same : first, I have cast the razor 70 

Out of the house, that I might be all over 

Tbicken'd, and bear no semblance to a woman. 
Pra. Have you the beards too, which it was decreed 

We should all wear, when we might be assembled ? 
W. 4. By Hecate, I have ; this beauteous one. 
W. 5. And I a beard by not a little fin^r 

Than is Epicrates* *. 
Pra. But what say ye ? 

W. 4. They their assent proclaim, at least by nods. 
Pra. I see that all the rest is done by you ; 

For ye have both the shoes of Lacedaemon, 80 

And manly garments, as we gave behest. 
W. G. I have brought out this staff from Lamia*s house, 

In secret, while he slept. 
W. 1. This staff is one 

Of those beneath whose weight the bearer groans. 

Nay, by the saviour Jove, he would be fit, 

Cloth*d in the goat-skin of th' all-seeing swain. 

If any other, to deceive the slayer **. 
Pra. But tell us after this how we shall act 

While yet the stars are scattered o'er the heaven ; 

' ix^f-aivSfiTiv hruHTa irpbg rhv ^Xtov. This was called by the Greeks rfKiov- 
vBai and rtkiuKTiQ, by the Latins insolari and insolatio, (FoAer.) 

r According to the Scholiast, Epicrates was a rhetorician and demagogue, who 
nourished a long thick beard, and was satirized by Plato the comic writer under 
the name of (TaKt<T<p6poc» 

k i. e. Mercury, the slayer of Argus. Bergler compares ^schylus (Supp. 310.) 

TToXov iravSTTTriv o(oj3ovic6Xov \kyeig ; 
'Apyov, rhv 'Epfirjg fraida yrJQ KaTiKTave. 

This passage, as Brunck observes, is very obscure, since the event to which our 
author alludes, however well known in his time, is not sufficiently so to supply us 
with the true meaning of the passage. Lamius, mentioned in v. 78, was, according 
to the Scholiast, a poor jailer, who appears to have been deceived by a staff covered 
with a man's garment, and substituted for some wretched criminal who was doomed 
to death ; hence the first woman says of the staff, kiriTrjdeiog y' cLv~ ijv. Faber 
imagines that Cratinus is referred to in this story. Perhaps our poet glances at 
some one of his antagonists, in whose drama this substitution of an enormous staff 
for a criminal condemned to death took place. 


Since the assembly, to depart for which 1 

We are prepar'd, will from the ilawn begin, 

W. 1. 'Tis true, by Jove, so you must take your seats 
Under the stone, against the Prytanes '. 

W. 7. And I, in truth, have brought this wool, to card it 
When the assembly should be fully met. 

Pra. Be fully met, thou wretch ? 

W. 7. Nay, by Diana, 

1 say so, for how shall I hear the noise 
While spinning? for my children are quite naked! 

Pra. Behold your spinning then, whom it behoves 

To cause none of our person to appear 1 

In the spectators' sight : we truly were 

In fine condition, if, when the assembly 

Chanc'd to be full, a certain woman should 

Pass o'er the benches, and with lower'd vest 

Reveal her naked charms ; but if we should 

Sit down the first, with garments gather'd up 

We shall be undiscover'd ; and the beard, 

When we let down which we shall there gird on. 

Who would not at the sight lake us for men ? 

Agyrrius, with the beard of Pronomus, I 

Lurk'd unperceiv'd '' — and first he was a woman. 

But now, you see, be fills the highest place 

III the republic : wherefore I entreat 

By the approaching day, that we may dare 

So bold a deed, if we shall be enabled, 

To take upon ourselves the aflairs of state. 

That we some good upon it may confer, 

For now we neither run, nor drive the vessel '. 

' iiTri r^ Xifliu (i. e. Ttf fiijfiaTi). The tribuDil in the Pnji. So id tlie Achar- 
DiaDS (v. 653.) T-ovSopiJovrtc ^' /ftpff ''V ^'^V ^poviaTaiuv. 

'' Ths former of Ibese was a most depraved chaiacter of the time of our poet, 
although he cotnmanded as a general at Lemaus (Schol.), the falter a long bearded 

< Alluding to lbs old pcovetb quoted by the Schotiast. 

8 Kiipjiipmv y vavTa Sti i;' aKaiii/iTai, 
m«atuug that if there be money, the vessel will run with a driviug gale. Ectgtei 
ralen to AristsQetus (Epiat. 14. lib, 1.) where (be proverb occura at length. 

898 THE FEMALE HARANGUE&S. [Act t. Sc. ii. 

W. 8. And how shall an assembly of mewe women *" 
Harangue the people ? 

Pra. The best way by €ar. m 

• # ♦ # # 

• • # f 

• • # f 

• s • # m 

W.8.I know not — ^inexperience is a thing 
Of direful import. 

Pra. For that purpose we 

Have been collected here, that ere 'tis spoken. 

We may revolve what there we ought to speak. 

Would you not hastily put on the beard, 

And whosoe'er besides intend to speak ? 130 

W.9.But which of us, O wretch, knows not to speak? 

Pra. Come fix the crown, and quickly he a man \ 
And I myself will place the chaplets near. 
Girded like you, should I Aink right to speak. 

W. 2. Come hither, O most sweet Praxagora, 
See how ridiculous the thing appears ^ ! 

Pra. Wherefore ridiculous ? 

W.2. As if a man 

Should gird a beard round roasted cuttlefish. 

Pra. Thou chief of the lustrations, bring the hog. 

Come forward— cease thy talk, Ariphrades. 140 

Sit in the presence — who desires to speak ? 


Pra. Then gird on the chaplet with good fortune. 

W. 8. Behold! 

Pra. Thou mayest speak. 

W. 8. Before I've drunk ? 

'^ Qflkvi^pfav Kvvovffia, Faber affirms this phrase to savour of EuHpides ; ^1^ 
word OffKv^ptav, however, does not occur in any pf his tragedies, i^or in Sophocles 
or iEschylus ; but the turn of phrase is certainly Euripidean. 

n iBi ^j) <r^ TTtpitov* Compare the Thesmoph, v. 879. where the herald commands 
the woman who is on the point of haranguing, to put on the crown whic)i he. gives 
her before she begins her speech. Or the manly beard may be intended as it is 
expressed in v. 118. 

<* This line in the original ends with the superfluous word rdkav* on which th^ 
Scholiast remarks wapeXxti to raXav, 


Pra. See now, " before I've drunk !" 

W.8. And to what purpose, 

O foolish woman, should I wear a crown ? 
Pra. Go hence — there too, perchance, m the same manner 

Thou would'st have treated us. 
W. 8. What then ? do they 

Not drink i' th' council ? 
Pra. See now, " drink again t" 

W. 8, Yes, by Diana, and that very pure. 

So that to [hose who think attentively 150 

Of the decrees they make, they seem to be 

The comments of intoxicated men. 

They make libations too, by Jupiter; 

Now wherefore should they make these supplications''. 

If by its presence wine inspired them not, 

And, as if drunken, they revile each other. 

Until the archers bear the brawler oiF. 
Pra. Go and sit down — for thou art nothing worth. 
W.8. By Jove, 'twere better if I wore no beard, 

For I shall be, methinks, dried up with thirst. IGO 

Pra. Is there another who desires to speak? 
Pra. Crown thyself then, for the afiair is pressing. 

Come now, speak well, and with a manly voice. 

Leaning thy frame upon a staiF's support. 
W. 9. 1 could have wish'd that one of those accustom'd 

To say what's best had let me sit in quiet, 

But now I will not sufl'er (if at least 

My sentiments avail) that any one 

Among the vintners should make pools of water i, 

n There is coQsiderable humour id tbis passage ; as if ihe women in iho public 
assemblies only made ibose supplications under influence of wine, which the 
mim ofiered to the gods from religious motives. Compare the opening of Demos- 
ihenes' Oration de Carotid, who commences lliat noble specimen of oratory hg 
making his prayer to all the powers of Heaveti, that his fellow citizens may regard 
bim with an affection equal to that whicb he cnterlaius lownrds llie stale. See 
likewise the concluding paragraph of this self- vindicating liarangue ; and also lia 
supplication of Hanno tlie Cacthagisian, in Plautus (Psnulus, Act iv. Sc. 1.), 
Ueos deosque veaeror qui banc urbem colunt. 

1 The Aiheoiima aod olher Greeks used (o dig pits under ground io which 
they slowed their wine and oil ; these were called XaxKoi. (Schol.) 


It pleases me not, by the goddesses. 170 

Pra. The goddesses ! wretch, where hast thou thy mind ? 
W.9. But what is it ? I ask'd thee not for drink. 
Pra. *Tis true, by Jove, but thou, being a man. 

Hast ta*en an oath by the two goddesses % 

Although in other things a most fit speaker. 
W.9.0by ApoUo! 
Pra. Cease now, since I'd not 

In the assembly either foot advance. 

If this were not laid accurately down. 
W.9. Bring me the crown — for I will speak again. 

Since now I think I have well meditated. 180 

" For, O ye women sitting here*, to me" — 
Pra. Again, wretch, call'st thou men by women's names ? 
W.9. Thro' that Epigonus — for having look'd 

That way I thought my speech address'd to women. 
Pra. Retire thou also, and sit there — for I 

Think that to your advantage I shall speak, 

Having assum'd this crown — I pray the gods 

That a good issue our decrees may gain. 

I, in this province, have the same concern 

With you — but with grave indignation bear 190 

All the disorders of our troubled state. 

For I behold her making use of rulers 

Continually bad : and for one day 

Any were good, he is a wretch for ten. 

Give you the same commission to another ? 

He'll do more evil yet. 'Tis hard to give 

Advice to men, of nature difficult. 

Who stand in awe of such as wish to love you, 

And fawn on those who not affect your weal. 

' ftd Tw 0£(u* i. e. by Ceres and Proserpine, a female adjuration of frequent 
occurrence in Aristophanes. Faber erroneously renders the words per Castorem et 

* From this line it appears that the ancient orators stood when they delivered 
their harangues, while the audience attended sitting. This may be also gathered 
from Demosthenes in the opening of his second Philippic oration, where WolPs 
gloss upon the words ot KaOrjfitvoi is ' scilicet kv ry kKKkriffia, oi oLKovovreg.* 
Epigonus, mentioned two lines below, was a most debauched and worthless cha- 
racter of that time. 


There waa a time when we ne'er met in council, 200 
But then we thought Agyrrius to be wicked, 
Now that we use them, he who had receiv'd 
Money, commends it with excessive praise. 
And he who had not says that those who seek 
Reward in the assembly merit death." 

W. 1. By Venus, 'tis well spoken. 

Pra. Wretched woman. 

Thou hast nam'd Venus: truly thou hast done 
A pleasant thing, to say this in the council. 

W. 1. But I would not have said it. 

Pra. Do not then 

Indulge at present in this mode of speech. 210 

" While on the alliance we deliberated, 

If it were not, tliey said the state would perish, 

But when it happen'd they were griev'd thereat. 

And he, among the orators, who gave 

This counsel', straight decamp'd and ran away. 

Vessels to launch seems right to a poor man. 

Not to the rich and those who till the land ". 

With the Corinthians ye have been enrag'd. 

But now they're good to thee — be thou so likewise". 

Argasus is an unlearn'd simpleton ' ; 220 

> The Scholiail assarts that Codod is to be understood here. Bniack, however, 
denies thaL PraiHgora alludes to thai celi^biated general, and observes that the 
whole apee(^h is very obscure oo account af the pcauiy of historical maaun 

° Ilecause, aa the Scholiaat observes, they were hurtheocd with the s 
Irierarchal contributious, tjiaptmira yip raic Tpiiipapx'aif:- 

■ i. e. u lljfu, this and the preceding line being addressed to the people, . 
(Scbol.) 10 in V. 205. 

{'Iltti yap Iut' <S i^fu TovTuv aiTioi. 

! The Scholiast affirms that Argsus is a proper name, and that the poet has 
this and the next line made him and Hieronymus change characters with ea 
other. Id the next line, instead of i\K' upi'^irni, which appears to be the U 
reading, there is a great variety of conjectural verbs proposed by different commen- 
Ulori. Bentley reads iiari^tTai vel iiBiZfTat, soma read ova apiZirai, other*, , 
oKK' ol> xpyZi". An anonymous critic \a the Classical Journal conjectures dAX' J 
IpiZtrai. which he renders, but even Tknuyliulut tonleiids againil ytu. The read- J 
ing of Belcker, which I have adopted, is thus interpreted by (he Italian translator, 
ma eiu Traabvlo mm leitdu chiaaalo la dettrmiiia. Lastly, Hotibius conjectures 
iiX oi ^iiacTai, and aptly compares Terence (Adelph. iv. 7.), — 



And Hieronytnus with wisdom fraii^ht. 

Safety hath raised her head, but Thrasybulus 

Himself contends against you not invited. 
W. 1. How prudent is the mail ! 
Pra. " You praise him rightly, 

For of these ills ye are the cause, O people ; 

Since from the public money taking pay. 

Ye look around for each man's private gain : 

Meanwhile the common good, like iSsimus ', 

Is roird away : but if to my advice 
iNsYe are obedient, ye shall yet be saved. 230 

ff For I affirm that it is right for us 
\ To give the state up to be rul'd by women* 

Since in our houses we make use of them 

As our curators, and dispensing stewards. 
W. 2. 'Tis well, by Jove, 'tis well — speak, speak, O friend — 
Pra. " That they are better in their ways than we, 

I will instruct you: for iti the first place, 

All dip their fleeces in the tepid stream. 

According to the ancient custom — nor 

Could you perceive them changing suddenly. 240 

And would not the Athenian state be sav'd. 

Were it but right in this, nor eagerly 

Affected any other novelties ? 

They sit and parch their victuals as of old. 

Bear on their heads the burthens as of old "". 

They dress the sacred cakes as formerly. 

Ipsa 81 cupiat Salus 

Servare prorsus non potest banc familiam. 

So Plautus (Capt. iii. 3. 14.), Neque jam Salus servare, si volt, me potest. 
Thrasybulus here spoken of is not the celebrated son of Thrason who accused 
Alcibiades to the people, but a self-willed and corrupt deceiver of his countrymen, 
as he is described by the Scholiast. 

* According to the Scholiast, iEsimus was a lame, dishonourable, and unlearned 
wretch of that time. Instead of 'Aitriiiog, Hadrianus Junius cites the passage 
olffTrcp 'Eifxoeig, against the metre. The first syllable of the Trojan river being 
short. See Homer, II. E'. 774, 777, etc. 

* So Herodotus (Clio, xxxv.) observes of the Egyptians that their men carried 
burthens on their heads, and the women on their shoulders. This is confirmed 
by Nymphodorus in the thirteenth book of his Barbaric Histories, quoted by the 
Scholiast on Sophocles, (Edipus Coloneus, v. 237. 


Their luisbantiB they ill-treat as heretofore. 
They lead adulterous lives within as erst. 
Buy for themBelves provision as before. 
They love pure wine as they did formerly. SfiO 

Joy as of ohi to lead Voluptuous lives. 
If then to these, O men, we trust the state. 
Let us not talk like triflefs, nor inquire 
What they will do — but in a simple manner 
PeTmit them to command, regarding this 
Alone, tiiat having first themselves been mothers, 
It will be their desire to save the soldiers. 
Then who would rather send them food than she 
That bore them? in providing wealth, a woman 
Is of a disposition the most apt, 260 

And if she rul'd, would never be deceiv'd, 
Being themselves aceustom'd to deceive. 
The rest I will pass by — but if in this 
You listen to me, you shall pass a life 
Of happiness. 
"VV. 1. Well, O thou sweetest dame 

Prax agora, and cleverly 'tis spoken. 
Whence hast thoulearn'd these things so well, O friend? 
Pba. I, in the general flight, dwelt in the Pnyx^ 
Together with my husband — then, by hearing 
The orators, I learn'd myself to speak. 270 

W. 1. Not without reason then, O friend, thou wert 
Expert and wise : so from this time, we women 
Choose thee our leader, if thou wilt effect 
Thy meditated schemes, but to thy cost 
Should Cephalus come in, to rail against you*. 
How will you contradict him in the assembly? 
pRA. I'll say that he is mad. 
W. L But this all know. 

'' iv rati; ^vyaic. Aristophanes bere alluiles to the general flights which were 
made fcani the fields and villages into (he eity in the beginaing of the I'eiopon- 
nesian war, (see Thucydides, lib. ii. cap. 17.) — Palmer. See the graphic descrip- 
tion at Ihe iDconveaiences eDdtired by the people coosequeat on leaving theic rutal 

o According to the Schnliasl, he was a demagogue, not the same who is men- 
tioned by Demosthenes, but one of a slanderauB chnraclec. 

804 THE FEMALE HARANGUERS. [Ac5t i. Sc. n. 

Pra. Then that he is beside atrabilarious. 

W. 1. They know this likewise. 

Pra. That besides he moulds 

The dishes badly, but the stote full well. 280 

W. 1. And how if Neoclides the blear-eyed** 
Revile thee ? 

Pra. I would order him to peep 

Beneath a dog*s tail. 

W. 1. What if they disturb thee ? 

Pra. • ♦ • • ♦ 

*Tis a hard matter — but we must extend 
Our hands, each arm high as the shoulder stripping. 
Come now gird up your tunics, and put on 
Quickly as may be, the Laconian slippers. 
As you have often seen a man prepar'd 
To go into the assembly, or elsewhere 290 

Out at the door : then, since all this is well. 
Ye shall gird on your beards : and whensoe*er 
YouVe fitted well with these appendages, 
And thrown o*er all the rest the manly garments 
Which ye have stolen, then leaning on your staves 
Singing the old man*s song, and mimicking 
The manner of the rustics, so proceed. 

W. 2. Thou say est well— then let us go before them. 
For I suppose that there are other women, 
Who to the Pnyx from different parts will come. 300 

Pra. Then haste — since those who by the early dawn 
Arrive not at the Pnyx, are in the habit 
Of sneaking off, not having gain*d a peg. 

Cho. 'Tis time, O men, for us to move — since this 
We must be mindful always to repeat, 
Lest it slip from us ; for the danger is 
Of no slight magnitude, should we be caught 
Attempting in the dark so bold a deed. 

S.-C. Let us, O friends, to the assembly go *, 

^ This blind Athenian is mentioned again in the Plutus, (v. 665.) 

tig jikv ye TftoKXeidrjg, og ivTi fikv rv^\6g, 

^ This choral address is in the Ravenna MSS. divided into a regular strophe 
and antistrophe, consisting of twenty-two lines each, and it is so arranged by lQver« 


305 ^^t 

For the Thesmolheta, with bitter look, 

310 1 

Hath threaten'd tlmt whoever should not come 


At early dawn all dusty while 'tis dark 


And loving garlick-pickle, he will not 

Give him tlie guerdon of three oboli, 

But follow with precipitation ye, 

O Charamitidea ' and Smicythus, 

And Draces, taking to yourself good heed, 

To err in nothing which you should effect. 


But soon as we the tickets have receiv'd 

Near to each other will we sit, that we 

330 ' 

May regulate all things for our she-friends. 


But what do I say ? friends, 1 ought to name them. j 

S.-C. Consider now by what contrivance, we 

These comers from the city may repel, 

Who ere this time, indeed, when it behov'd them 

To come and take a single oholus. 

Were wont to sit and speak among the crowd ; 

But now they are extremely troublesome. 

Yet when the generous son of Myro reign'd. 

None had presum'd to manage state aifairs 


For mercenary hire, but each one came 

Bearing his beverage in a little flask. 

Together with two onions and three olives. 

niiius, tlie metre being Bimitar to tbat at the Chorus in the Peace, v. 1107, et iqq, | 

In the preeeat iasUnce, ihe verses will stand thus, 

Xuip&liiv f'C inKXi/aiav, 

av Spis. ^iTfiXiF' T«P 

o Qiaiio6iriis, Be &v 

lii npifijravv roB Kvi^ovq 




fiuf }, Km. The reading of another MS. u equally Taulty, dXX' iJ \ipi n 

^io, a ( 

tai, eld. Faber proposes oXX' u Xapift)/u. The correction, as the French 

rans- | 

lator observes in a note, will appear very simple, if the words are written in 

apilal j 

letters, the only characters formerly in nse, el la fault Mutern aui yeai 

""' '' ^ 



Dobree obseries that Cbaritimidea was the general of the Athenian fleet. 

The \ 

...,. ^^^^^ 


306 THE FEMALE HARANGUERS. [Act v. Sc. vii. 

But now they seek to gain three obolij 

When they do nought to aid the comnion good^ 

As masons who are always gathering mud* 336 


Ser. O bless'd people, and O happy me 1112 

Thou too my happiest mistress and all ye 

Who $tand here at the doors, and all ye neighbours, 

And fellow-tribesmen, and myself beside 

The female minister who have anointed 

My head with perfumes good, O Jupiter ! 

But far the Thasian casks surpass all these^ 

For on the head a long time it endures. 

While of all others soon the scent flies o^, 11^ 

Wherefore are they by far the best, O gods. 

Mix the pure wine, that all night long shall cheer me. 

Having selected what is most perfum'd. 

But O ye women, tell me where's my lord^ 

The husband of my mistress. 
Cho. Tarry here. 

For it appears to us that you will find him^ 
Ser. Most certainly, for he now comes to supper. 

O master ! O blessed and thrice happy ! 
Mas. I ? 

Ser. For who can be more blessed than thou art. 

Being the only one that has not supp*d 1 130 

Of more than thirty thousand citizens ? 
Cho. a truly blessed man thou hast describ'd. 
Ser. Whither art going ? whither? 
Mas. To the supper. 

Ser. By Venus, far in th' rear of all the rest. 

Yet my wife order'd me to take and bring thee 

And with thee too, these damsels^. (Cho.) there is left 

A great sufficiency of Chian wine **, 

9 ratrds rcig fiaipaKag' viz. those that formed the chorus, rdg rov yopflv^ 

^ The wine of Chios, now Scio, was, and is still highly esteemed for its suMrior 
flavour. (See Horace, Od. iii. 19. 5; £pod. is. 34; S9jLp ii, 3. 16.) It w|« 


And other good things — therefore tarry not. 
Then if of the spectators any one 
Be well inclin'd, or any of the judges 
Look not aside thro' favour, let him go 
With us — for we shall have all things prepar'd. 
Therefore to all thou shalt speak generously. 
And pass by no one, hut with liberal voice 
Remember to invite old, youths, and children. 
Since for them all the supper is prepar'd 
If they depart each one to his own home. 
Cho. And I will hasten to the supper now, 

Bearing this torch in a decorous manner. 

Why then delaycst thou to take and bring 

These damsels ? and while thou art on thy road 

I'll chant some strain to celebrate the feast. 

But to the judges who are wise I'd make 

A flight suggestion, that in memory 

Of my wise sayings they pass sentence on me ; 

Such as are pleaa'd to laugh, for laughter's sake 

Should judge me, and I order ail to pass 

Their judgment on me nearly in this manner. 

Nor pray the lot be prejudicial to us 

That mine was first awarded : but 'tis right 

That bearing all these things in recollection. 

You swear not falsely, but right judgment still 

Bear on the chorusses — nor let your manners 

Resemble those of wicked courtezans. 

Who only keep the memory of past favours. 

O, O, indeed dear women, if we are 

About to act, 'tis time to trip away 

To supper, wherefore thou too move thy feet 

anrientlj celebrated bj the n 
(Virg.Ecl.v. 71.) 

Vina tibi fundam cBlathis Ariusia m 
Aqcd a promontorjr in tbe Aiiuaian 
63.) calls thii 


308 THE FEMALE HARANGUERS. [Act v. Sc. vii. 

In Cretan measure K 

S.-C. And these light of foot 

To the same cadence : for there will be soon^ 1170 

Oysters aud fishes cartilaginous. 

Eel pouts with relics of the heads beat up 

In vinegar, benzoin, and honey mingled^ 

Thrushes and blackbirds, pigeons, roasted cocks* crests 

Wagtails and stock-doves, with the flesh of hares 

Sodden in musty wine-sauce with the wings. 

Thou having heard this, take thy dish and egg ; 

With all celerity ^ then, haste to the supper. 

S.-C. But they are now devouring. 

Cho. Raise your feet. 

Hurrah ! hurrah ! we'll sup with festive glee> 
And shout in token of our victory. 1181 

I KpfiriK&c. Hence it appears, as Faber observes, that the concluding chorus 
exhibits a specimen of Cretan rhythm, beginning at ?. 1166. 

cat aii clvci* r(WTO dp&' 
Ked rdait vvv \ayapdc. 

The next six lines of the comedy, containing the names of all the festival dishes 
which one semichorus promises to the other, compose one single AiistophaDic word, 
containing seventy-five syllables — XtirdSaCt rkfiaxoQ, <reXaxoc» yaXedv, Kpaviwv 
Xibj/ava, ^pifiii irpdtTrpififia, aiX^iov napA fiiXirbv KaraKExvfUvov, etc. Eos- 
tathius, in his Commentary on the Iliad (p. 1277.), observes that Homer is not 
accustomed to use these iro\v<Tvv9kroig XkKtviv, yet those after him, especially 
the Attics, are much in the habit of framing them, and perhaps the present 
instance is intended as a parody of some other poet. I think there can be little 
doubt that the learned bishop particularly alludes to this passage of the Ecclesia- 
xuta, when he says, c^^pi^rai yovv irapd nf KutfiiKtfi xa>p£ov iv rivt dtrvvnOei 
KutfKfiilg., K, r. X. 

*' ■ \apu>v KSvKTai 

\riKidov • 

On this passage the gloss of the Scholiast for kSvktqi is yvfivdaOiirt, which is, I 
think, rightly rejected by Brunck and Faber, and with which he concludes his 
commentary on this political play. 


In the mklst of this deep-rooted and wide-spread corrup- 
tion, when the legal authorities had become powerless, the 
Sophronistse and the Areopagus lost all weight and influ- 
ence, when public opinion had grown contaminated, and the 
licentious multitude only followed the dictates of their own 
headstrong will, there arose, in the domain of art, a frank 
and vigorous censorship, which, in unsparingly castigating 
the vices and follies of the age, joined poignant ridicule and 
wit to the deep earnestness of high-minded patriotism. 

After Athens had attained the meridian of her power, 
tragedy and comedy had nearly to an equal extent become 
the objects of public care and encouragement. But the 
eflfects which they respectively exercised upon the public 
system differed very widely. In tragedy the Athenian be- 
held the old heroic monarchy in its dependence upon Fate, 
the nothingness of human pride, and earthly presumption 
crushed by the wrath of the gods. The Greek tragedy waa 
copiously interspersed with political reflections; these, it is 
true, in consequence of the vast difference between the pre- 
sent order of things and the ancient regal system, could only 
be applied '' to the Athenian democracy as figurative allu- 
sions, or in a larger extent as moral maxims ; still the poets 
occasionally transposed sentiments of the democratic period 
into the heroic age, asjEschylus has done in the Danaides'; 

• Compare generallj: Kanogiesser, The Ancianl Comic Stage in Alliens, 1817, 
eepecially firsi and twelfth chapters: comedy etlnlDi its zenith during the Pelo- 
pDQQeaian nar, etc., p. 114, sqq,, and siitb : the destination of the comic drama. 

'' See the collection •>( pasiagei of this description which occai in Euripidei in 
Valcketisai Dialr, S56. C. Eqq., and eapeciBlly on the subject of demagogy, iS9. 


or, at least, the unlimited power of the monarchy was called 
into question, as in the incomparable dialogue between Hae- 
mon and Creon in the Antigone of Sophocles^. Yet, in 
spite of this, tragedy and real life were separated by a wide 
gulf, and we may perceive how far it was from the intention 
of the Athenians to allow the former to allude to real mis- 
fortunes by their infliction of a fine on Phrynichus, because 
he had represented the destruction of Miletus by the Per. 
sians, and thereby painfully affected the Athenians as though 
the calamity in question had happened to themselves *. 

On the other hand, the old comedy sprung from the wan- 
tonness and arrogance of the democracy of Megara, wheACe 
it was transferred to its lively neighbour, Athens ^, the public 
appointing comic poets, who were not only permitted, but 
expressly enjoined to level their satire against the wealthier 
classes * ; thus comedy became raised into a great political 
engine — a genial tribunal of public morals — which had grown 
out of real life, and, mingled with the hues of fancy, wa% the 
reflected image of its scenes ; or rather, a mirror, in which 
reality and its image were beheld in rapid alternation and 
succession, and which either borrowed the objects it ex- 
hibited from the real world, of directed its rays on the 
world, and so explained the true meaning of what was going 
forward on the stage. The dim warnings of the mysterious 
power of Fate in tragedy, were little adapted to produce any 
deep impression on the popular mind, as none of the spec- 
tators found in the crimes or sorrows of the kings and heroes 
any thing applicable to his own position; but the aim of 
comedy, as explained by Aristophanes, was to make men 

Comp. 607 : 

TIavSjjfiLijf, ydp x^P^*^ ^c^ioivv/iotc 

'B^pi^cv aiOrip, rovde Kpaivovrtav \6yov. 

Toidde dtifidvpaKroc ^k iroketog fiiq, 

^^0oc KBKpavTait K, r. X. 

* Antig. 726, sqq. Especially : 

II<$\ec ydp oijK ttrO' i^Ttg dvSpog k(T& kvog. 
e Herod. 6. 21. 

^ See Meineke, Quaest. Scenic. Spec. Prim. p. 4. Berol. 1826. 
^ See the Schol. Aristoph. ed. Kiister, p. 12. 


better in tlie state'', to admonish and instruct adults', and, 
in so doing, it was at liberty to take tiie boldest flights, not 
restricted to lampooning individuals ^ However, the ancient 
comedy never lost sight of its original destination, which 
was to ridicule passing occurrences (e^ a/id^ijs uKaififiaTo), 
and this is the real root of the connection between the actors 
and the spectators. 

In order duly to estimate the political importance, as well 
B9 the EESthetic character of the old comedy, it must espe- 
cially be borne in mind, that the plot of the piece by no 
means formed such an entire and connected whole, as com- 
pletely to withdraw the attention of the spectators from the 
real world around, and confine it exclusively to the poetical 
world upon the stage, as the piece made constant allusions 
to the real transactions of civil life, to actual personages, 
events, dangers, virtues and vices, and by gathering its mot- 
ley groups within some poetical frame, even though a mere 
piece of butfoonery, it imparted to them dramatic keeping 
and consistence^ hence disturbing the illusion, by mixing up 
the spectators with the actors, which with us is justly con- 
sidered a fault, was customary and admired amongst the 
Athenians. This was effected in three ways : 

1. Bv allusions to, and glosses upon, objects of real life 

woven into the poetical dialogue. 

2. By imitating the personal appearance of living charac- 

ters, and sometimes by introducing them into pieces 
under their real names. 

3. And most effectually by the parabasis, an address from 

the chorus to the spectators, in which the connection 

« Arisloph. Ran. 1009. 1010: 

— Bri /BfXriowc « iraiau/iai 
Toi>s Qvepuirous iv raig jr6\taiv. 

' Aristoph. Run. 105* ; 

— Toig fiiv ydp vaiSoploiaiv 
tVTi SiSaaKoXoc, iJuj-ic ^pdjtf Tois S" ijiHiriv ji TOiiiTal. 

' Ariitoph. Pac, 751. 752 : 

Diic ISiUTas dvBpuivlaKOVt EUfJ^lfuv, aili fVPatKas 
aW 'UpasXiovs 6pyiiV Tiv <'v« i-oim fieyirrroiE ijrix"P"- 
Comp. Vesp. 1030. 


with the drama was only kept up by means of the mask, 
and the poetical character assigned to the chorus in 
the piece, whilst the latter discoursed on some object 
of political life^i in reference to which it instructed, 
admonished, or censured the citizens, and thereby en- 
deavoured to perform its vocation, viz., to inculcate 
principles beneficial to the state"*. The masterpiece 
amongst all the parabases extant, is that in the Frogs 
of Aristophanes **, and it is, perhaps, partly owing to 
this that that piece was represented twice successively ^ 
The preceding characteristics are exhibited in eminent 
perfection in the old comedy alone, which began before the 
Peloponnesian war, and continued to flourish some time after 
it had terminated. The most renowned poets of this period 
were Cratinus, Eupolis, Plato, Pherecrates, and Aristo- 
phanes; Crates, Hermippus, Phrynichus, etc.^, belonged to 
the second rank. In consequence of the very scanty frag- 
ments of the works of the others which have reached us, 
Aristophanes is almost our only authority. His poetical 
career began a short time after the commencement of the 
Peloponnesian war, and lasted till about ten years after its 
conclusion "1. His pieces exhibit a just and striking picture 

* Schol. Aristoph. Pac. 733 : oir6Ti ipovXsro 6 iroiriTrjQ SiaXex^rivai ri c^ai 
TTjg viroOkatiac aviv t&v vvoKpir&v, The parabasis was likewise attempted 
in tragedy ; Euripides made the chorus in the Danaides speak of himself, and 
introduced parabases in other pieces, Pollux 4. 111. On the arrangements of 
the stage, etc., consult Hermann, Elem. Doctr. Metr. 720, sqq. 

"■ Xpri<TT& ry vdXei KyfivrapaivtiVf Aristoph. Ran. 685 ; compare in particular 
Acham. 656, sqq. 

" Aristoph. Ran. 686, sqq. 

® OCrw Bk iBavfidaOri did rifv Iv avrtf irapa^oiv — wcrrc koX &VE$iddxBfi, 
Dicsarch. in Argum. Ran. 

P On Cratinus, Crates, Hermippus, Teleclides, Eupolis, see Meineke, Qus- 
stionum Scenicarum Spec. Priroum. 

q The first piece, the AatraXetc , . 01. 88. 1. 427. B. C. 

— The Babylonians . . - 88. 2. 426. „ 

— The Acharnians . . - 88. 3. 425. „ 

— The Knights . . . - 88. 4. 424. „ 

— The Clouds (first) . . -89.1.423. „ 

— The Wasps and (second) Clouds - 89. 2. 422. „ 

— The Peace ... - 89.3.421. „ 

— The Birds ... - 91.2.414. .. 


of tbe Athenian people, and the copious scholia amply illus- 
trate particular points, 

Our enquiries being particularly directed to the manner in 
which the comic censorship was exercised, it is not con- 
sistent with our object to enter into a consideration of the 
criticisms on bad poets as such, with which the pieces of 
Aristophanes abound'; stiU it may be observed, that as 
there was an indissoluble connection between the poetical 
and the political life of the Greeks, so tfie decline of poetry, 
viz,, the corruption of the lyric poetry by the dithyrambic 
poets ', and of tragedy by Euripides ', which Aristophanes so 
frequently deplores, acted on, and was itself affected by, the 
moral and political depravation of the age. 

When the comic muse levelled her shafts at those whose 
dress or air was ridiculous, or whose way of life was charac- 
terised by profligacy or folly, she did not, it is true, inculcate 
a direct political lesson, the censure in question not being 
directed against the omission of a pubhc duty or obhgation. 
Still these topics were sometimes touched upon incidentally, 
as the vices of the persons satirised were seldom found 
alone. Thus Aristophanes ridicules Epicrates, who prided 
himself upon his comely beard, and was therefore called the 
shield-bearer (o-aKeiTf^opos) " ; Amynias the dicer'; the dis- 
sipated j^schines^ and Proxenides^; Pisander the coward 
with the daring aspect"; Callias the prodigal •■, whose courage 

— LytistralaatidThesiiiDplioriazuas „ 

— Tiie Frogs . ■ 93, 3. 405. „ 

— PlutuB , - 96. 3. 394. „ 

— EcclesiaiuBje . . . - 97.1.393. ,, 

' Ste Pac. B03, oa tbe tragedian Moisimus, Vesp. 402 ; Philaclea, Thesmoph. 
169; Xenocifls, 170; Theo|nia, etc. 

■ Nub. 333 ; tvtXibiv rr x"?'^'' itir/iaroira/ijrTnc. 

■ Ran. Acharn. Theamoph. 

" Eccles. 71. Coropate Ihe Scholion. He was a demagogue after the do- 
miDaliaa of the Thirty. 

' Veap. 75 ; comp. 1267. 127B. 

> Veip. 338.457. 1220. 

' Vesp. 338. 

» Pac. 396 ; Av. 1559. 

'' Av. 384. He moults away hii goods aod chattels like a bird doea iti Sua- 
ihetB, jrrEpftppiPfl. 



was very tuspicious, notwithstanding the lion*8-Bkiti whidh he 
wore *9 and who had previously been attacked by EltipoHs in 
the Flatterers "*; the impoverished spendthrift Megacles, the 
descendant of the proud Coisyra% and a host of infamous 
drunkards ' and debauchees besides *• Still more Unsparing 
is the castigation which he inflicts upon the voluptuous and 
the unchaste. Such were Cleonymus, who, though of heroic 
presences had disgraced himself by throwing away hii 
abield^ had committed perjury ^ and cajoled the people ^^ 
the beardless and incontinent Clisthenes ^ ; the grossly lust- 
ful Ariphrades *" ; Hieronytous^ Philoxenus^ Ani3mia8% Se- 
binus 'f and a number of other cinsedi, whose names tnay be 
recognised in the Clouds by their feminine tenninadions *• 
To these may be added the obscene, such as Cinesias \ at 
the mention of whose name the people were probably re^ 
minded of the lime-plank which, in consequence of his ex- 
cessive thinness, he was obliged to wear within his girdle to 

« Ran. 428. ^ SchoU Av. 286. 

* Acharn. 614. Comp. Nub. 46. 70. 124. 
' Vcsp. 1301. 1302. 

ff Acharn. 839, sqq. Amongst otheis, &e thpffirpwm>Q Pfepik, the ^eptjr^vri' 
poc Artemon, die wofivSviipoc Panson, and Lysistratus XoXapyciav 5v€i^oc, 
(comp. Vesp. 788.) etc. 

•» Vesp. 822, xaXcTrAc iBeXv, 

» Vesp. 19. Conf. Aves, 1481. 1482 j Pac. 446. 673 ; Acharn. dS ; Nub. 680. 

k Nub. 398. 

* Vesp. 592, he is called KoKaKtavvfioc* 

n» Eq. 1374; Acharn. 122; Nub. 354; Ran. 48. 423; Lysis. 1092. He is 
introduced in the Thesmophoriazuss, 573, as ambassador to the women ; in the 
Birds, 831, he carries a weaver's shuttle. He and Cleonymus are, as it were, 
the representatives of effeminacy. 

» Eqnit. 1281, sqq.:— 

€<rri d* ov fiovov irovfipSQ, oif ydp oid' iiv ^vOdfti^v 
oifdk vafiTTovijpoc' dXAd Koi irpoffcCevpifice ri* 
rj)v yap avrovlyX&Trav aiaxpaxQ rjSovaXg XvfLaiverai 
iv KaaavpioKTi Xeixf^v t-^v dirSvrvrrrov dp6irov, r. r. \. 

No less depraved was the character of Smoius, Eccles. 848 : — rd r&v yvvaiK&v 
dtaKaOaipei TpvpXia, 

o Nub. 348. P Vesp. 84. 

q Nub. 689, sqq. r Ran. 430. 

" Nub. 685 : AvctXXa, ^iXivva, KXeiTayopa, Atiiirirpla. 

* Ran. 367 : — KaTanXtf t&v 'EKaTaitav. Comp. the Schol. Ran. 63. 1437 • 
Eccles. 330 ; Lysis. 855. 


support himself; and, lastly, Agyrrhius', who was more- 
over effeminate ' and malignant. 

If the comic muse animadverts upon enormities such as 
these, in accents which sometimes appear to be deficient in 
modesty and dignity, we must reflect that subjects, the baro 
mention of which shocks every feeling of delicacy and shame 
in our nature, were not conceived by the Athenian seriously 
or in a moral point of view, but merely addressed themselves 
to his pereeption of the ridiculous. The same may be urged 
in vindicating Aristophanes from the charge of cruelty when 
he taunts persons with their bodily infirmities; as, for in- 
stance, when he ridicules Archedemus'^ and Neoclides"for 
being blear-eyed ; calls Melantliius a leper '' ; jeers Ctesiphon 
about hia fat belly"; laughs at Cleigenes for his diminutive 
monkey figure''; and introduces a great number of Athe- 
nians under the names of various birds, in the comedy of 
that name, classed according to their personal pecuhavities 
and deformities '. In the same manner Horace reproached 
Crispinus with being blear-eyed'. This did not shock the 
feelings of the ancients. MoreoTer, those whom Aristophanes 
ridiculed on account of their personal infirmities were, in 
most instances, likewise conspicuous for moral defects — as, 
for instance, Melanthius, who was notorious for effeminacy, 
gluttony, and unnatural hist, on which account he was at- 
tacked byEupolis in the Flatterers*— or had rendered them- 
selves obnoxious to censure by pernicious demagogy or spu- 
rious citizenship, like Cleigenes •■, so that by holding up their 
personal blemishes to the laughter of the people, he at the 
same time reminded them of their moral and pohtical taints. 
Thus, for instance, a certain Teleas is brought forward in 

■ Alhen. 12. 651, E. « Plut. 176 :— 'Ayuppioc— ifepftrai. 
I Eccles. 192. 184. 

■ Ran. 588. » EccleB. 254. 

" Av. 151. ' Acharn. 1001. 

■1 Ran. 709, sqq. 

' At. 1292, sqq, Clisrephoii tlje owl, etc. 

' Sat. i. I. 120, at which Bealley is so IddignaDt that ha changes lippi into 
tippum, and makes Horace call himself blear-ejed, which indeed he mmetimea wa>. 
But thii ii the monl feeling of modem tii 

■ Schol. Pac. 800. » Schol. Ran. 709. 


the Birdsy whose name was sufficient to call up an idea of 
every thing that was depraved K So perfect was the under- 
standing between the poet and the spectators, that a single 
word frequently suflSced to propose a comic riddle, and at 
the same time to furnish its solution. 

His allusions to men who had obtained the franchise sur- 
reptitiously, and who demeaned themselves as. though they 
bad been rightful citizens, are still more severe, and bear 
the character of serious reprehension ; such are his animad- 
versions upon Archedemus, who, though he had held the 
citizenship seven years, was unable to bring forward a single 
phratorS the/wirreitfiDiitrephes*, Execestides the Carian"*, 
Spintharus the Phrygian, and Philemon *", but especially 
Cleophon, the son of a Thracian woman, a great talker, who 
was always prating about war^ Moreover, his allusion to 
sycophants and men of faithless character, such as the 
smooth-tongued informer Cephisodemus and the false Eu- 
athlos P, Theorus ** the forsworn flatterer of the people, the 
perjured and rapacious Simon', Euphemius* and Thrasy- 
bulus, who, having been bribed, pretended to have a sore 
throat upon being called upon to speak at a public negocia- 
tion with the Laconians *. Nor did perfidious soothsayers 
like Lampon, Diopithes, Hierocles, etc. ", escape the poet's 

* Schol. Av. 167 : — irpbg ydp ry Kivailiq, gai BtiXiq. Kai d^j/o^yi^ Kai vo- 
<r0i<r/i^ Kai irovtipiq. 6vii^i^ovai rbv TcXeav. 
^ Han. 418. 
» Av. 798 :— 

iiQ Aurpetftrig ye irvrwaia fiSvov l^wv impoLj 

ypkOri (ftvXapxoQ, tW ^virapxoQ, ilr il oifdivbQ 

fieydXa irparTii, 

"» Av. 765 and Schol. Comp. 11 and 1530. » A v. 762. 763. 

o Ran. 678, sqq. OpyKia xcXi^wv. According to the Scholion, the subject of 
a piece named after him by the comic poet Plato. 

P Acharn. 705. 710. According to the Schol. Vesp. 592, he had also been 
attacked by Cratinus and Plato. 

q Nub. 399 ; Vesp. 42. 418 j Acham. 134. 

r Nub. 351. 399. • Vesp. 599. 

< Ecclesias. 203. 356. and Schol. 

« Av. 988 ; Pac. 1044. and Schol. Even the answers of Bacis are mentioned 
in derision. £q. 1003. 


Persons like these were more or less public characters ; 
but comedy toot a bolder range when she assailed the dema- 
gogues who guided the helm of state, and sometime held 
public offices. The comic poets bad already attacked Peri- 
cles, and with the greater impunity, as he was too conscious 
of the proud height upon which he stood to grudge the 
demus a vent for any ill-will it might occasionally bear him. 
Several satirical allusions to bis omnipotence, by Cratinus, 
one of the eulogists of Cimon", Teleclides, Hermippus, and 
Eupolis, are extant; he is apostrophized as Zeus', Aspasia 
as Here, Omphale, or Deianira, but at the same time as a 
courtezan^ his sons are addressed as simpletons%in addition 
to which the one by Aspasia is called a bastard '', his friends 
are named Pisistratids " ; the slowness with which the con- 
Htruction of the walls and the Odeum proceeded was also the 
object of their ridicule ^ ; and lastly, the policy of Pericles in 
avoiding a battle upon the first irruption of the Peloponne- 
Bians into Attica, was bitterly derided '. 

' Plut. Cim. 10. 

r CratiDUS ; MoX' £ Ziu fiviE nai naicdpu. Ailudiag to the large head of 
Pericles, be calk him Tupavyov, 8v SI] iiE^a\ij-/iphav Btol cnXfoun. See Plut. 
Peiicl. 3. ibid, o ox-xoiti^aXoc Zsuc, Plut. 14, The Eame thought ones tooro 
recurs iu Aristoph. Acharn. 530 :— HipiKXI^t oiW-jurior;. See also Schol. and 
Diodor, 13. 40. Eupolis' confession ot the irresislible nature of Pericles' elo- 
queace; from the Aii/ioic after the deatU of Pericles. Comp. Meineke, Qns- 
stioDum Sceoicamm, p. 4B. Teleclides (tbe coDtcmporar; of Aristophaoes, Schol. 
Rao. 1126; Athen. 6. 267. E. sqq.) enumeraled to the Alheoiaas in saccession 
(he coastituenls of (hat power which they had conceded to Pericles ; 

JCUS.VUV Ti ^opove auras rt voXiis, rni /itv liiv, rde l" avakiiiv, 
XaVa Tiixri, Ti piv d<'idJo/i(ii', ri It aird ttoXiv KarafiiWuv 
aicovSaSt Hivaitiv, npiToe, iipquju, -rrXourSv r' i&JaifiDviaw rf. 
Pint. Pericl. 16. Comp. on the labject of Teleclides, Meineke, QuEst. Scenic. 
p. 39, sqq. 

' Cralinus ipud Plut. Perici. 24 : 
-"Hpav" oI'AOTf 
Kai taTairvy oovvjjv TToXXajciji 
Comp. Schol. Platan. Menei. 139. Ruhok. 
" BXirD/ia/iDc. Schol. Plat. Ruhnk. 73. 
b Eupolis ap. Plut. Per. 24 ; conf. f larpoci 
' Plut. Per. 16. ■> Cralinus ap. Plut. Per. 13. 

' See Uermipp. Anapffist. ap, Plul. Pei. 33. 
ubi sup. p. 30. 


Arittophanet arose at the commeneement of the wild de- 
magogy, which immediately followed the death of Pericles; 
its excesses never ceased to draw down his indignant repro- 
bation, nor did he shrink fircmi entering the lists with the 
most powerful of its representatives or supporters. He de- 
scribes with the convincing energy of truth, espeoially in the 
Knights, the destructive nature of demagogy in genera), 
the facilities it offered to bad men to rise to power and emi- 
nence ', its duplicity and adulation ', the intrigues and cabals 
it employed to deceive the people ^, and above all^ its pecu- 
lations and embezzlements'. All this he^ contrasts with the 
time of Mjrronides, when he asserts that such disgraceful 
avarice did not exist. Amongst the single demagogues who 
writhed under the lash of the Aristophanic satire, must, ac- 
cording to their succession in order of time, be now enume- 
rated Eucrates, the vender of flax and tow, and the cattle- 
dealer Ly sides, neither of whose trades escaped ridicule H 
but above all, the worthless Cleon. The more conscious this 
man was of his own baseness, the more impatient he was of 
censure; nevertheless, he was obliged to endure the most 
humiliating flagellation from the comic muse in the Baby- 
lonians °*9 and afterwards in the ELnights, bis dog-like ef- 

f Eq. 180. 181 : 

^1* airb yap roi rovro Kal yiyvu fikyaQt 
6ri]) irovfipoi, ic^K dyopae C, xai dpaavg. 
V. 218 : — 

tA ^ d\KA (TOi trpdviffri it^fiaydryucdt 
^invfi fuapd, ykyovaq KaK6Q, AyopaXog el, 

t Ran. 1085: the town is full of fiuifioKSxt^v BfifioiriBtiKtav k^airardtvrutv 
rhv drifiov dtL Moreover the expressive word SrifiiZia, to cajole the people, 
Vesp. 697. The subject of the nSKaKeg of Eupolis were Callias and the parasites 
about him. See Meineke, ubi sup. 59, sqq. 

•» Equit. 865. 

' Vesp. 665 : — 

B^cXvkX. : — Kal iroi rpkirtrai St^ 'ireira rd xpflfJ^ara ToXKa ; 

^iXoicX. : kg rovrovg To{>g — Ovxl Trpo^wffoi rbv *A9fivaiwp KoXotrvprSv, dXKd 

fiaxovfiat irepl rov vXfyOovg dei, 
k Eccles. 303. 

» Concerning the former, see Equit, 129. with the Schol. and 264 ; on the 
latter Equit. 132. 

"» Schol. Acharn. 386, 


frontery, his eycophantic snarling and barking", and his 
greediness for a bribe ", are held up to the laughter of the 
people, who are at the same time compelled to witness a 
mortifying picture of their own folly, in resigning themselves 
to the guidance of so abandoned a wretch. Even after the 
representation of the Knights Aristophanes repeats his at- 
tacks ; in the Clouds he again brings the god-detested tan- 
ner P upon the stage ; in the Wasps he is made to play the 
part of an all-devouring sea-monster '' ; afler his death his 
vices are once more chronicled in the Peace'; and lastly in 
the Frogs he and his worthy compeer, Hyperbolus, are in- 
troduced together in Hades'. Aristophanes well knew the 
peril he encountered in entering the arena with this mali- 
cious, covetous, and sanguinary idol of the populace, and 
accordingly speaks of his own services with that absence of 
reserve which was peculiar to the Greeks in enumerating 
their own merits', and it must be confessed that comedy 
owed to him the proud height it thus attained as the vehicle 
of political censure. 

In sketching the portrait of Hyperbolus the lamp-maker, 
Aristophanes has employed less force of comic humour, as 
well as less moral earnestness, and patriotic feeling ; still we 
have a clear notion of the iniquity of his character. In the 
Knights he declares that he deserves hanging"; in the 
Peace which was represented ahout the time when Hyper- 
bolus contested the demagogy with Alcibiades, Phseax, and 

° Equit. 1022. Cleon esj! 

Comp. Yes. 

" Eq. 831, sqq., allusion is made la forty miiiic which are said to haje bsen. 1 
lEceived from Milytene, but this is mereiatira (KB Meier, de Bon. Damnal. p.lld); 
Cleon had received money from die iilaaders, that he might leduce their tributes. 

r Nub, 557. 

1 Vesp. 35 ; ^oXoi: 

■ Ran. ; 

> Nub. 545 : it liiyiTov oyra KXiiay tKair^ lit t^v yaartpa. Ve*p. 1031 i 
Bpaaiue XverAt liiSit iir' apxvs oir^i t^ >:apx''p°^°''i'*- *■ T- ^' Comp. Pa?, 5 
739, sqc|. On the ilkeiiti of Aristopbanee, compate Kaucgiesser komische Biihne, , 
499, sqq. " Equit. 1373. 


Nicias, and had a party in his favour^ he is called a flagitious 
leader", who deserved to be expelled ^ etc. Other comic 
poets had also attacked Hyperbolus, and Eupolis had written 
his Maricas against him and his drunken mother ' ; but Ari- 
stophanes speaks in terms of contempt of these attacks, 
which were for the most part made after Hyperbolas had 
lost the favour of the people and began to be hunted like a 
fljring beast. A specimen of the sycophantic dialectics of 
his contemporary and rival Phaeax is given in the Knights*. 
Special mention was made of Nicias in a piece which has 
perished, called the Husbandmen ^ and in the Birds his 
dilatory character is glanced at ^ 

Alcibiades was more violent than Cleon, and his authority 
resembled a tyranny still more than that of Pericles, and yet 
Aristophanes did not attack him. Alcibiades is rarely men- 
tioned, and in the Frogs the poet appears to speak of him in 
terms of respect, as a man, a general, and a statesman. We 
may look upon the words of ^schylus in the Frogs ^ : 

'Twere better not to nourish in the state 

A lion's whelp — yet should one so be nourish'd 

His disposition must be yielded to — 

as proceeding from Aristophanes* inmost soul. At that time 
he well knew that no one could protect the state against the 
designs of the crafty Lysander so effectually as Alcibiades * 
though twenty years earlier he had in the Daetaleis * stigma- 

» Pac. 684. ' y Pac. 1319. 

* Nub. 649 and Schol. ', comp. Schol. on 587, and tbe Plutus, 1 308 ; Mei- 
neke, ubi sup. 56, sqq. 

* Eq. 1377, gqq. : 

KvvtpKTiKbg y&p kan, ical wepavTiKOC, 

Kai yvittfiorwiKSg, Kai ffaiftrig, xai KpovvriKog, 

Karakri'jrTiKog r dptara rov dopv^tirucov. 

* See Citat. Fabric. Bib. Gr. ed. Harl. 2. 369. 

* Av. 639, ni}sXoviKiq.v» 
d Ran. 1431. 1432. 

« See the Fragm. in Seidler, Brevis Disputatio de Aristophanis Fragmentis. Hal. 
1818 ; comp. Siivern on the Clouds of Aristophanes, Berl. 1826, p. 26, sqq., 
and ibid, on the allusions to the lasciviousness and sexual vigour of Alcibiades 
ubi sup. 63, sqq. 


tiaed witli becoming severity his incontinence, pernicious so- 
phistry, youthful wilfulness anil turbulence, aristocratic pride, 
and passion for horses, whilst the same original may be clearly 
recognised in the prodigal Phidippides in the Clouds'. 

Nor was the poet idle during the last years of the war, 
when the cabals of a party had subverted the democracy for 
a time, and when even after its re-establishment, the stormy 
passions of the people forbade all hopes of the return of 
tranquillity and order; to this period belong the Lysistrata, 
ThesmophoriazusEe, and the Frogs. The Thesmophoria- 
zusae was represented during the Oligarchy*, and at the 
very time that the partisans of the democracy were judicially 
murdered and privately assassinated, Aristophanes ceased 
not to stigmatise the authors of these calamities; thus he 
reproaches the Buleuta^ before the Oligarchy with having 
suffered the last to supplant them ''. In the Frogs allusion: 
is made to the equivocal and time-serving character of The- 
ramencs', and he wishes that the half-citizen Cleophon, 
alluded to above with his interminable prate about war ""i 
was in Hades'; whilst the admiral Adimantus, who soon 
afterwards acted a very suspicious part in the disastrous 
battle of jEgos Potamos, is described as a man whose death 
every one was bound to pray for "". 

Whilst condemning the destructive proceedings of ihe 
demagogues generally, he is especially loud in his complaints 
of their corruptness and frequent peculations"; that is to 

' Sea Silvern on Ihe Clouds of Aristophs., 
he spoken of in creditable terms in the Ach; 

Totc vioiai i' lipiirpiaicTog, nat XnXos. xv KXeiPioi 
I Under the aicbon Cftllias (Ar|;um. Ljsislr. et Schol. 173); Ihe oligarch; ' 
was overthrown under his successor Tbeopompus (Ps. Plul. Vil. Decern Orator- 

'' Thesmoph. SOS. The addreu to Pallas, Thcsmopli. 1143, is also eiideotlj ' 
levelled at the oligarchs : 

^avijff a rupdvvo 
UTvyoOa', woiTfp t 
' Ran. 539. 540. '' See above, p. 316. nolo". ' Ran. 1504, sqq. 

■° Ran. 1513. We are infarmed in the Scholia, that Adimantus likevrisa Buf- 
Icred from the satire of Eupolis and Plato. 
° Eccles. 205: 




My, he either openly and expressly accused the demagogues 
or corrupt officers, or brought characters upon the stage in 
guch situations as sufficiently explained to the Athenians 
what and whom he meant; concerning these the Scholia 
contain ample information. In fact, the effi*ontery with which 
these men plundered the public treasure was only equalled 
by the flagrant violation of all morality and decency exhibited 
in their lives. To the delinquents already enumerated, we 
nay add Pisander^ PamphilusP, Neoclides'i; the £icosto- 
ogus Thorycion, who furnished stores for the enemy's ships ^^9 
Prytanes who accepted bribes for bringing forward public 
matters*, etc. 

That the superior officers were not exempt from his cen- 
sure, is evident from the example of Lamachus, whose love 
of war when Strategus Aristophanes repi'esents as one of 
the main obstacles to the restoration of peace * ; he at the 
same time directs public attention to the amount of his 
debts". However, we must not interpret his satirical at- 
tacks upon Lamachus too literally, as the poet undouhtedly 
esteemed him as a brave soldier'. He likewise speaks in 
terms of commendation of the valiant admiral Phormio ^. 

fint most remarkable, and, at the same time, most inr^por- 
tant in their results, were the boldness and freedom with 
which Aristophanes proclaimed the perverseness and cor- 
ruption of the omnipotent demus. In this spirit he proposed 
to purify and strengthen the citizenship, by expelling from 
it all worthless characters, and supplying their places with 
the more deserving amongst the new citizens '. During the 
eventful period which immediately preceded the disaster of 
iEgos Potamos, he complains of the undue preference shown 
to the after-comers*, to the prejudice of the Kalokagathoi, 
and proposes that those persons should be reinstated in their 
full rights who had been deprived of them because they had 
taken part in the Oligarchy ^ On the other hand, he extols 

o Lysislr. 490. P Plut. 174 ; conf. Schol. 

q Plut. 666, with the Schol. «• Ran. 363 ; conf. SchoU 

• Pac. 907 ; conf. Thesmoph. 937. 

« Acharn. 269. 572, sqq.; Pac. 472. " Acharn. 614. 

^ Acharn. 1188 : Ran. 1039. 

y Equil. 562 ; Lysistr. 804. He is classed with Myronides as a /ttXa/iTrvyoc* 

* Lysistr. 574, sqq. » Ran. 718, sqq. *> Ran. 685. 


the virtue of the men of Marathon ^ who, he says, were no 
talkers, and at the same time censures the ready volubihty 
of the subsequent deiiiagoguea, and the easy credulity of the 
demua''. All this was chiefly confined to the character and 
sentiments of the multitude ; but now the collective people, 
the popular assembly, as the depository of the supreme 
power, became the butt of his satire; he deprecates the fre- 
quency of its meetings', which was a consequence of the 
measure of Agyrrhius fur raising the aalsryof the ecclesiasts 
from one to three obols, the foolish manner in which they 
demeaned themselves^, and their indulgence in invective and 
abuse^. EupoHs bad previously ridiculed the Athenian 
Dysbulia, and Aristophanes'" declares that, according to an 
ancient saying, the assembly was accustomed to see all iu 
foolish decrees turn out well; at the same time, he blame* 
its love of innovation', its subservience to the demagogues^ 
its avidity for their flattery', and the favour it showed to 
bad men". This is sometimes coupled with the advice, that 
the people should choose fresh leaders". Athens is re- 
proached by the Acharniana with having occasioned the 
Peloponnesian war by her bickerings with Megara". In- 
numerable complaints of the military profession and tlie plan 
of operations are contained in the Peace, whilst advice as to 
the best mode ^f carrying on the war and administering the 
public revenue, is given in the Frogs'", and put in satirical 
contrast with the measures actually adopted. However, he 
speaks of the Spartans in by no means favourable terms ^; 
but on the other hand, in one of the wildest flights of comic 
ridicule, he gives utterance to the exalting thought of a 
common Grecian nationality'. 

t Acharn. 180. 181i Equit. 565, sqq. ; Vefp. 1071, sqq. 

* Vesp. 109*. 1 Eccles. 183. 

' Sea Equil. 651 ; oi f avitpoTtianv nil irpic i^' tctx^vfav. 

I Eccles. 142 ; Kal koilopifivTai -(' Siu-mp ifijittratiTiQ. 

li Eccles. 473, sqq. 

■ Ecc]e!>. 456. 680 ; iimoBai jap, f> ri TraXaii iroXXdicic dtiui'rai. 
CoDf. 580. 667, and Acharn. 630~iv 'A6vva.iois mvu/JDuXaie. 

' See In pirticular, Equil. 1097, sqq. ' Actiam. 636. 

■x llaD. 1454, sqq. ° Ran. 1446— 144B. 

" AcUoro. 509, *)q. ; comp. Pac. 803, sqq, P Pac. 1483— 

1 PiK. »i3, alaxpOKfpMs sal {•fipa>i'6^ii/oi ; Atharn. 30a, olaiv o«Ti ^wpiic, 
o6n rloTit, oW BpKOC ftivfii Ljaislr. 629, olatv oMiv mUTiv, ti iifi wtp XinKfi 
nxivoTt. ' '-■— ••"" ■-- 



Nor are his strictures less severe on the manner in which 
the people discharged their judicial duties as Heliasts. This 
is especially beheld in the Wasps, the object of which was to 
depict their inordinate love of acting as judges, promoted, 
as it was, by the covetousness and chicanery of the litigants*, 
the angry violence of the judges, which is admirably repre* 
sented in the mask of the Wasps ^ ; while the Clouds dis- 
plays a picture of the mischievous power of the sycophants 
and brawlers, which is embodied in the speech of Adicse- 
ologus ", etc. 

With these evidences of moral and political earnestness of 
purpose and fearless sincerity before us, can we for a mo- 
ment question the vast importance of the ancient comedy, as 
the voluntary auxiliary of the state, in the task of watching 
over the laws and the public morals, and as a candid and 
rigorous censorship, which dealt out with an even hand their 
just measure of censure to high and low? But in consider- 
ing the extensive power of such an engine, we are naturally 
led to make the following enquiries : 

1. When the comic poet attacked an individual, by falsely 
accusing him of contravening the laws, were not the 
people and the authorities provoked to bring the of- 
fender to justice ? 

2. Did not the powerful demagogues endeavour to revenge 
themselves on the poets ; or did not the parties whom 
they had accused, and who hoped to be able to vindi- 
cate their conduct, call them to account as calumniators ? 

3. Did not the state restrain or abridge the comic license, 
when it witnessed individuals and the community at 
large grossly maligned, and even saw that the gods 
themselves were not exempt from their presumptuous 
attacks? or was not the audacious comic poet repri- 

• Equit. 41, KvafioTpu}^ Arifiog ; Av. 40, 

— 'A0jjvaToi ^ del 
kwl rStv liKibv q,tov<yi irdvra rbv fiiov* 

* Vesp. 1105, sqq. 

irpSiTa fikv ydp oifdkv rifi&v ^wov ^peOifffisvov 
fidWov d^vOvfiov kffTiVt ovdk 5v(TKo\wTepov, k, t. X. 
•» Nub. 1034, sqq. Compare the comprehensive dissertation of SUvern alluded 
to above. 


manded, when the tragedian Phrynichiis had been fined 
for too deeply affecting the feelings of the Athi 

The collection of facts for enabhng us to answer tliese 
questions is very limited, and tlie statements of some of the 
ancients have given rise to misapprehension on the subject. 

That the denunciations of the comedy were not without 
effect, would appear to result from the accounts that the 
knights compelled Cleon to pay a fine of five talents', pro- 
bably shortly after the representation of the Babylonians. 
But we are not accurately informed what official body insti- 
tuted proceedings upon the occasion. In forming an esti- 
mate of the effects calculated to arise from the accusations 
of the comic poets, we must reflect, that as there were very 
few cases in which the Athenian state was entitled to com- 
mence legal proceedings against an offender itself, it was ne- 
cessary to find a citizen who should appear as public prose- 
cutor, but that no immediate steps could be taken by the 
tribunals, in consequence of any thing that might have fallen 
from the poef. Moreover, to many of the persona whom 
he denounced, punishment had already been awarded in due 
course of law, to which the flagellation in the comedy was a 
eort of supplemental process, whilst a number of the charges 
enumerated above, such as those connected with demagogy 
— except that, perhaps, termed " betraying the demus'," did 
not fall under those classes of offences for which the laws 
had made determinate provision, as the prosecutor was re- 
quired to ground his accusation on some distinct and sub- 
stantive fact. Now it may, indeed, be urged, that such was the 
alarming height which sycophancy had reached in the time of 
Aristophanes, that a word was sufficient to supply materials 
for its rancour and malevolence ; but so far was the comedy 

le I 

' Amtoph. Acharn. 6. 7, and Schol, This circumiWnee is also alluiJed lo it 
Ihe spdGCti of the dBmus, Equit. 1145 ; 

rifpiu yip iedrrror' ai- 
rowc, afiSi fojcuv ipav, 
tXk-rrovTac • l-ffUT' avay 
Ka!^ia iraXtv IKt/ieiv 

Ktiixiiv jcaro/iiiVuf. 

' The statement in Plul. Pericl. 32 ; 'Aa^aala Haiiv t^tvyiv aaijifias, 'Bfi-1 
niroa rou KmfX'iitoiroloo Simkovtos, refure to a tegular prosecutioQ. ' 

* rpafii i'THTrianiis tou Sfi/iou, related to the iciria rpbg rou ifl/iov. 


from afibrding any support to this hateful ayatetn^ that it 
uniformly pursued it with the most relentless severity. 
However, the fine imposed upon Cleon, compared with what 
Callias and others were condemned to pay, would appear 
to have been inflicted by the people more in jest than in 

With regard to the vengeance of those powerful dema* 
gogues, whom the comic poets ventured to attack, Cleon ik 
asserted to have insinuated that Aristophanes had spokeil 
disparagingly of the demus*; but there is no evidence that he 
ever formally accused him of the o£Fence ; in the Achariiiam^ 
Aristophanes vindicates himself from the calumnious insbm* 
ations of Cleon, by declaring, that he had never failed in the 
respect he owed the demus \ The slanderous aspersion ot 
accusation in question, must have followed close upon the 
representation of the Babylonians ^ ; for Cleon seems to have 
remained quiet after the performance of the Knights. It is 
likewise asserted, that Eupolis was drowned by Alcibiadefs^, 
whom he had ridiculed in the BaptSB. Eratosthenes^ even ill 
his time, raised doubts as to the credibility of this story® i 
but whether true or false, no general rule can be drttwn from 
the conduct of Alcibiades. Upon the Whole, ill may be as^ 
sumed, that as the Athenian was insensible to delicacy and 
shame in word and mien, so he was deficient in a refined 
sense of honour ; the latter was seldom affected by verbal 
insults, and the abuses flowing from the right of public prose- 
cution and the ever-watchful malice of the sycophants, bad so 
accustomed the Athenian to accusations of all kinds, that his 
peace of mind was not likely to be ruflled by the cursory am- 
madversions of comedy. 

As to the restraint imposed upon the comic humour by the 

> Aristoph. Acharn. 379. 

el<Te\KV(Tag yap fi elg rb ^ovXevTripiov 
du^aWt, Kai \1^£v5tj KarcyXcorrt^e fiov k. r. X. 

Conf. 502, in which ^kvittv irapovruiv are the emphatic wordSk 

oi) yap fie Kal vvv tiafia\ti KXeoX/, on 
^ivcjv irapovTiav rriv irokiv KaK&g Xlyw. 

Conf. Acharn. 631, ojg KiofH{t8ei rrjv icokiv ^fiiov, Kal rbv Sijfiov Ka9vj3pil^Ei, 
'» Arist, Acharn. 632, sqq. ; 655, sqq. ^ Schol. Acharn. 386. 

d See the Citat. Fabnc. Bibl. Gr. Harl. 2. 407 ; Meineke, ubi sup. p. 37 ; 
Buttmann on the Cotyttia and the Baptas in Abh. d. Berl. Akad. 1822, 1829, Mis- 
tor. Philol^ Kl. 2J8; < Cicfeiti, Epist. ad. Atf. 6. 1. 


state in general, we are informed in a Scholium, that it was 
forbidiVeii to attack the dead '; liut the very passage of Ari- 
stophanes, to which thi» remark is annexeci, presents an 
example of the contrary^. Again, Aristophanes accuses 
Pericles after his death, and ridicules Enripides in the Frogs. 
Examples to the same effect might easily be multiplied, and 
this Scholium'", like so many others, is evidently nothing 
but a corruption of tlie test itself, A second says that 
it was forbidden to attack the archon. But in the Baby- 
lonians, Aristophanes had not scrupled to satirise magis- 
trates, as well elective as thoae appointed by lot'. Is it 
therefore probable that the archon formed the sole excep- 
tion? Ameinias is also ridiculed in the Wasps, which was 
performed during his archonsliip ^. If such a law, indeed, 
existed, it cannot have been very strictly observed. The 
Areopagus, however, appears to have enjoyed exemption 
from the comic satire, and upon the same principle the Are- 
opagites were forbidden to write comedies'. Finally, it 
is stated that the exhibition of comedies was prohibited 
as early as the archonship of Merychides, Ol. 85. 1 ; 440. 
B. C, but this law having been repealed soon afterwards, Ol, 
85. 4, it was once more forbidden to render individuals the 
objects of ridicule by name or personal imitation"". Anti- 
maclius, the rival of Aristophanes, is said to have been the 
author of this statute, hut its date is uncertain. It was re- 
marked above ", tltat Aristophanes did not desist from his 
attacks, even during the Oligarchy; but under the domina- 
tion of the Thirty, he comic poets were probably held in 
check through fear, though perhaps unrestrained by 
positive law ; they subsequently resumed their wonted i 
dom of speech, of which they do nut appear to have been di 
prived by any express enactment, till at length the parabasis, 
the soul of the old comedy, was suppressed, and the chorus 
omitted, in consequence of the poverty which began to per- 


' Schol. Pac. 649. t Compare aboira, p. 318, doI 

>• Ad. Nub. 31. I Schol. Aehara. 386. 

^ Vesp. 64. 1267, See UermaDti's doubts as Id ihe law 
Schol. Nub. ai. 
■ Plut. de Glori& Athen. 348. B. Fraakfiirt. 
" Schol. Ariiloph. Achnrn. 67 and 1149. " Sea above, i 


▼ade all ranks of the community ^ It was not till Athens 
was occupied by Macedonian garrisons, that a final stop was 
put to the practice of attacking individuals in the dialogue^ 
and exhibiting likenesses of them on the masks p. 

In conclusioui it may be observed of the freedom of comedy 
upon the wholci that it produced no serious impression what- 
ever upon the minds of the spectators, that it had from its 
earliest origin enjoyed a sort of privilege and license to 
attack individuals under cover of the mask, and that the 
predilection of the Athenians for this sort of harsh and 
cutting satire continued undiminished as long as they re- 
tained their prosperity and independence ; but, as on the one 
side no serious evils were supposed to result from it, so on 
the other it could seldom become the effective medium of 
sound advice or salutary reproof "i. This is the only manner 
in which it is possible to account for the levity with which 
the gods are spoken of in the Frogs ^; but it was a very dif- 
ferent case with tragedy — when Euripides was prosecuted 
because he had spoken of the oath with seeming irreverence*. 
Still the Athenians were unwilling to experience real emo- 
tion by witnessing the representation of recent calamities, or 
the sorrows of Greeks with whom they were upon terms of 

* See Platon. Prsf. Aristo^h. ed. Kiister, p. XI. P Ibid. 

4 I cannot concur in the opinion of Kanngiesser as to the benefits wbieb resulted 
from the censure of the comic poets, (kom. Biihne, 471, sqq.) 
' Comp. Bdttiger Aristophan. Deor. Gentil. Impun. Irrisor. 

• The verse was — 'H yXwoa* dfiwfioxt i^ Sk ^pr^v dvuifioroc* 
See Aristoph. Rhet. 3. 15.